One of the last words of guidance my friend and mentor, Sister Alexa, shared with me was to be courageous. At the time, I didn’t fully understand in what regards she was referring. Was she thinking about the endless decisions I need to make caring for my husband, career moves, my writings, or my health and level of pain?
Most likely she meant all of that.
Merriam-Webster defines the word courage as mental or moral strength to resist opposition, danger, or hardship. Courage implies firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty.
We certainly need a good dose of courage these days. We have endless lists of decisions to make, and without courage, we are crippled in taking the necessary steps to move forward.
And the more authority we have the stronger we need to be. Leadership can be a lonely place. Leaders require strength to make decisions that often are unpopular but in the best interest of those under their wings. As parents, employers, and community leaders, we are responsible for thoroughly investigating situations and formulating necessary steps to achieve a goal. Doing nothing can be as detrimental as making the wrong move. We must stand strong.
The first step in building courage is to identify our fears and their cause. We then can imagine challenging scenarios and how best to see our way through. We can build our courage by staying focused on what we need to do and not the expectations or actions of others. Also important is eliminating negative self-talk. If we don’t believe in ourselves, no one else will.
(Follow me on my blog, Midwest Mary)