When you think of courage what image comes to mind? I’m sure there are many, but for now let’s imagine a lion – the king of the jungle!
Now imagine one particular lion – the lion from ‘The Wizard of Oz’. He was not your typical lion. Not just because he could talk and walk upright, but because he was afraid – he was ‘the cowardly lion’. However, if you remember the story, this ‘cowardly lion’ acted courageously throughout the movie. Even though he was afraid of his own tail, he found a strong enough reason to find the courage that was in him all along. This is what it means to have courage. If we want something enough, we are willing to go get it. If we believe in something enough, we are willing to stand up and fight for it.
Friends often ask me why I do triathlons when I have a fear of open water. I often ask that of myself when I’m standing at the shoreline minutes away from the race start. There have been a few occasions when my feet were itching to turn and run the other way. Am I afraid during these moments? Absolutely! Do I have courage during these moments? Absolutely! When the horn goes off and my heart is beating fast, I don’t turn and run away – I head straight for the water. I know how to swim and I know there are people out there ready to help me if I get into trouble, but the fear is always there. I find the courage to act – to swim – because I want it enough to go get it.
We are willing to take risks and face our fears so we can hold on to what we value. Values are the driving force behind courage. Values are what we hold on to and have great worth in our lives – they are the essence of who we are. Take love, for example. We are afraid of losing those we love yet we choose to love, and love deeply. We all have courage inside us, whether it’s to:
- Go against the grain;
- Stand out from the crowd;
- Rock the boat;
- Take a chance;
- Do something awesome; or
- Dream big!
What do you want, or believe in, so much that you are willing to find the courage to act? Remember, you don’t have look far to find it – because you had it all along.