Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Redefining Courage

Since I wrote about courage as a guest at Christine Kane's blog, I’ve had more thoughts about the word. I wrote that courage, for me, was "feeling the fear (resistance) and doing it anyway." Later I talked with a friend who said that she was struggling with feelings of failure because she had started a project that necessitated great courage and accomplished amazing things, but later dropped it. She wondered if she lacked the courage to take it to the next level. I asked her how she felt when she dropped it and she said she felt relief. It’s only when people ask her about what happened with the project that she feels like she "chickened out."

Her story helped me realize that resistance is there for a reason. And it’s not always the point of courage to break through it. In the examples I provided in my guest post it always felt better for me to push through it, but I also have examples of where I pushed and it didn’t feel good. And I backed off. (I’m taking a very relaxed approach to publishing my children’s book.) So the point, for me, is to get out there – living life creates desires that challenge and excite me – and ask myself which feels better? To pursue them or not? Courage is sitting quietly with that question and answering truthfully.


Glad Doggett said...

To me, sometimes being silent and still takes more courage than rushing in and pushing to "fix" everything.

Courage is relative.

FOO said...

Yes! Exactly! People (and I've been one of them) can think that they need to push in order to get the praise or the prize, and it really is an act of courage to not do the thing that is expected of you. I think about the quote from Gandhi a lot, "My commitment is to truth not consistency."