The Flawed Search for Courage


One of you posed a question in the rebranding survey that got me thinking.

Specifically, you wondered how you could find the mental space, the courage you need to take control of your life & career.

One that’s not as enjoyable as you wish.

It’s not the first time I’ve heard the wistfulness and frustation behind the query.

If you’re not someone who feels like this, then you’re someone who used to or someone who knows someone else who still does.

It’s that feeling of a life half lived. On everyone’s terms but your own, or so it feels. I can tell you this, it wasn’t the easiest thing in the world for me to find the answers. And when I did, oh boy.

It really was the simplest thing.

We often say “it’s simple but not easy” (sounds like a self limiting belief to me, one that I definately want to explore cos isn’t Ease just a matter of habit – the more we practise, the easier it get? .. I digress).

Wikipedia defines Courage as: bravery, fortitude, will, and intrepidity, the ability to confront fear, pain, risk/danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.

You already know that the concept of courage being something external that you have to find or develop in order to get the life you want, is flawed.

There are many occasions in your life that you have exhibited courage, even if you didn’t know it at the time. Those were times you didn’t have to ask for it, look for it or try to build it.

Those were times when you were in alignment with your values, your beliefs, your essential self. The times you were just BEING.

Like when you stood up for a friend being picked on, when you let yourself be vulnerable in love, when you were hurt by someone and got over it, when you got fired and picked up the pieces to start over, when you left home to go to Uni thousands of miles away, when you spoke up at the office meeting.

You might think “oh, but that’s not courage, that’s just life”.

I’m here to tell you,

Courage isn’t just something you magically grow in an emergency or when something goes wrong.

Courage is not something that comes to you when you’re fighting a serious illness like cancer. That my friends, is what you do to survive.

In my opinion, we’ve got it backwards.

Courage is daily life.

The little decisions we make on a regular basis when we choose “right” from wrong”, act with integrity, the choices we make when no one is looking.

It’s all too easy to dismiss those decisions as “life”.

What would change if you started viewing yourself as living courageously, with heart, every day of your life?

Because you are.

You’re just not seeing it, or focusing on it enough. As long as you think courage is something you have to develop, you’ll find yourself lacking.

When you start noticing and being aware of the actions you take daily, the words you speak, the thoughts you think, and commit to them being aligned with your values, then my friend, you’re living a courageous life.

Even though the degree might vary.

Each time you make a decision to be who you truly are, you’re tapping into your inner self, which is where courage lives. And you start living a life YOU want.

So how do you become more aware of how truly courageous you ALREADY are and CELEBRATE your way into more acts of courage?

Here are my top tips:

  • Treat life as an adventure – you’re not here to “get it right”, you’re here to have the experiences you want
  • Raise your consciousness
  • Find one thing you did each day that is courageous by these standards
  • Make a list of times in your life you’ve acted with courage, ie, listened to your heart, stood up for someone or something you believed in. You’ll be surprised how many times you were being brave but didn’t even know it.
  • Experiment with fear
  • Remember that everything is temporary if you lose what you fear losing, you will still be MORE than ok
  • Know that no matter what, you cannot make a wrong choice – your choices ARE your unique life path

Courage isn’t about freeing yourself of undesirable situations, it’s allowing yourself to step into more of YOU. How’s that for living your life to its fullest, funnest potential? There’s nothing to change, just more of you to discover 🙂

I’d love to hear about you – when was the last time you acted courageously, whether you realised it at the time or not? Are there some areas of your life where you’re more courageous than others? What’s different there? Looking forward to your insights and experiences. Thanks in advance for sharing!

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  1. says

    Tia —

    Fabulous post!

    I was just talking about this with a friend the other day who said, “I admire your courage.” This has to do with a big road trip I just took. It was just something I decided to act on that felt very good to me and that felt like the obvious next thing.

    To some it might seem out there or brave, but, as I told my friend, “When you’re in the middle of this, it doesn’t feel like courage. The journey itself propels you forward and that begins with the decision and then things fall into place.”

    Great stuff! Thanks!!

  2. says

    You’re taking this to the next level, Frank!

    You’re showing us that courage is taking action on things that feel good to you, instead of weighing the pros and cons. That displays a level of trust and confidence that can only ensure some great experiences and learning 🙂

    Once you believe in yourself and your decisions, indeed the rest feels like a natural progression. A much easier, happier, and aligned way. Thanks for sharing that important distinction.

  3. says

    Lots of people get caught up in having things perfect before moving forward.

    I have my business coaching clients expect the unexpected. Be ready for serendipity! Once that moment arives they won’t be so blindsided or surprised or frozen or scared about what to do. They’ll simply say “I’ve been expecting this in my biz, or life. Lets go!”

    Imperfect action initiates quicker traction.

  4. says

    Yes, that’s courage Steve – taking imperfect action. Says it all. Perfect!

    ps: That monster gravatae is making me giggle – I know you’re not angry.. LOL!!

  5. says

    Hey Tia,

    A really great post! So many half-lived lives out there. Folks afraid to venture into adventure. Love your line, “There’s nothing to change, just more of you to discover.” To me, that’s the point of life — to discover who we are.

    As usual, you’re sparkling all over the universe! Thanks …


  6. says

    True Julie! It didn’t strike me till recently when I was trying to change some habits & my life and came up against huge resistance. Then I realised – I LIKE my life, I LIKE me, so of course I’m subconsciously going to resist “changing my entire life”. Instead, I’m adding to it, improving the quality of my experiences by bringing intentionality to them & upgrading vs changing.

    Veered off topic there a bit but it kinda relates to how small actions and decisions can often require more courage than big ones 🙂 And even though I have sooo much to do right now, I’m making a decision to drop it all and take the day off. Thanks for dropping by!

  7. says

    Awesome post, Tia!! Of course, this is not surprising given YOU are courageous and live your values every day.

    I’ve been doing more of this lately and I have to say, the CTI Leadership program is really, REALLY helping me step it up a notch. No…not a notch…a whole LEVEL!!!

    I just spent the last weekend helping a guy I used to date after he broke his ankle and couldn’t walk/drive/etc. We had some of the best (and scariest) conversations about intimacy I’ve ever had. I know talking about connection over the table at Chipotle may not sound courageous…but it sure felt that way!

    I came away from the weekend sad (we don’t want the same things, so it’s time for me to move on) but really, really happy about stepping up and asking what I knew needed to be asked. I think he was happy too. When he hugged me as I left he whispered into my ear, “You’re one in a million…don’t you forget that.”

    Ah, the reward for being courageous. 😉

    Thanks for this GREAT post and reminding us that it’s the everyday things that make us courageous, not just the big things!

  8. says

    EEEEEEEE!! LESLIE!! It’s LESLIEE!!! Where have you been!? Missed you here! When I saw you’d been a-visitin’ n a-commentin’ I just grew me a giant grin 😀

    I *wish* I could say that I live my values everyday, let’s say I do most days, and some days, I dive. That could be considered a value too though right 😉

    Don’t make me any more envious about Leadership than I already am! Talking about connection ANYWHERE is courageous, I can imagine it right now, the openness, the vulnerability, the fear, the exhileration.. it’s been a while since I had that sort of conversation with anyone so I’m chuffed for you (and proud!).

    I echo that he said “You’re one in a million…don’t you forget that.” You really, truly are. How blessed am I to have people like you in my life?!

    SO good to hear from you again Leslie! Hugs!

  9. says

    Tia, thank you!
    There have been LOADS of times when people have asked me “You did WHAT?!?! Weren’t you Scared??”
    And the answer is always No, I was Not scared! I was in my Zen moment, enjoying every aspect, every moment. It’s not that it looks scary from this end, either – it’s still odd to me that people ask about courage . . . .
    As in giving 93-lb lions belly rubs and kissing cheetahs and working with horses that can put their chins on top of my head easily.
    WHY?? Because it’s ME, as me as me can be, that’s Why!!!

  10. says

    Heyy Anettey! Oooooooh I think you just pointed out something I hadn’t considered – that when you’re in flow, in the zone or so aligned with your desires & actions, there is no fear!!

    Getting to that stage might require courage from some people, and for others, it’s a natural progression of BEING. I’m getting goosebumps at this though (not you with the lions alhough anyone reading this is probably wide eyed and whooaaaaaa..>!??!) but at the MEness…

    That’s why sky divers and base jumpers and lion belly rubbers feel no fear, and the rest of us do. When you know your soul, your passions, and you follow them, life is fun & way less scary than when you know and don’t believe in yourselves enough to do it.

    Oh bugger I can’t seem to find the words to express myself clearly, hopefully anyone reading this will get it & say it better!

    “WHY?? Because it’s ME, as me as me can be, that’s Why!!!” Ahahaha you are AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!!

  11. N says

    Loved this one. Couldnt have read this at a better time, reading this reminds me of who I am & that I LOVE me and that I only need to upgrade and tweek some edges!!

    Love you and Love what you write.

  12. says

    Exactly babe! You DON’T need to change who you are, you don’t need to change anything about yourself to be loved and adored and worthy and deserving of the things and life you want.

    You are already perfect as you are. Accepting THAT is an act of courage.

    Love you too 🙂

  13. says

    Tia: Great post. I really liked what you said about Courage being daily life. It really is all about being able to tap into who we are and continually express the essence of that in our everyday actions and decisions. You are so right that it is all about making a decision to be who you truly are. Sometimes I think it is easy to forget that from time to time and the list of tips you shared to point yourself in the right direction was very helpful. Thanks for a great post.

  14. says

    It’s always easier to do something once than be consistent. Like, easy to eat healthy once and a bit harder to do it every day for the rest of your life.

    But once you turn it into a habit, it becomes effortless and second nature, mindsets change and behaviours alter. That’s if it wasn’t something you’re already aligned with like Annette and her lions (oh my, I’m not).

    So if we notice our daily acts of courage, we’ll start doing even more of those (what you focus on increases, law of attraction) —> courage gets ingrained —> living an authentic life.

    Formula for fulfilment!

    So cool ay, thanks for shining the spotlight on that Sibyl.

  15. nida says

    The last courageous thing I did was to be vulnerable in love 🙂
    To admit it to myself (and to the person as well) that I love them,despite the fact that they don’t feel the same way as me. And believe me,it felt really good and so liberating![[contrary to what “rejection” is usually about!;)]]
    And I dared to go up and chat w/ them,and to keep the faith even though they didn’t reply this time…Because I believe. 🙂


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