How Courage Shows Up & Brings Out The Best In Us | Blog

How Courage Shows Up & Brings Out The Best In Us

Courage has been on my mind over the last week. In the past, I had courage associated with bold moves, truth-telling, adventure, feeling fear, and doing it anyway. While those are definitely examples where courage helps us out, over the last week, I've been considering all the other ways our lives present us with opportunities to be courageous.

I have witnessed acts of courage in so many forms over the last year. I've seen clients, family, and friends face tough times, loss of jobs, loss of loved ones, and in the midst of it all, have the courage to get out of bed and keep showing up. I've seen how they respond when all their best-laid plans have fallen to pieces, and yet they show up again and again to their work and life. They show up with hope and love and a willingness to keep moving forward with no guarantee of the outcome.

Courage shows itself when we are called to surrender, to let go of our attachment to timing & results. At times, it simply takes courage to accept “what is” and let go of what no longer serves us.

This last year, courage has shown up in the willingness to face our blind spots, uncover biases, and look within when change is needed.  

Courage has helped us take in the lived experience of others even when it does not match our own. Courage has given us the strength to sit with another human being in the presence of their rage and pain. To hear the truth of their experience.

Courage also shows up in our ability to speak our truth, go for our heart's desires, reveal ourselves, and align our actions to what matters most to us; to our authentic expression.

I have come to appreciate more and more the link between courage and vulnerability. Brene Brown is famous for saying, “Courage starts with showing up.” She also said, “The key to wholehearted living is vulnerability. You measure courage by how vulnerable you are.”

The act of showing up for ourselves, our loved ones, our community, and our world can feel vulnerable. 

Vulnerability speaks to the feeling we get during times of uncertainty or times when we risk sharing ourselves. It speaks to those moments when we take big and small risks to reveal ourselves, take a stand for something or someone, or to start over.

To be courageous, we must be willing to be vulnerable. We must be willing to be uncomfortable.

Our lives often ask us to choose courage over comfort. That feels vulnerable. To take the leap, say the thing, or let go of the old, feels scary. Yet, when we do it anyway, we feel alive. We experience new possibilities, a deeper connection to ourselves and others, and a richer quality of life. 

Sometimes the moment of courage includes slowing down, listening to the stillness within, and not taking action. 

Where do we find courage? By looking within. When we listen and align to that place within, we tap into an inner reservoir of power, we rise to the occasion. We realize we have what it takes to handle being uncomfortable and out of our depth. We have what it takes to stay the course and ride out the feelings of uncertainty. Courage is there for us when we need it most.

We then discover that in the end, on the other side of courage and vulnerability lies freedom, new expression, creativity, love, and authenticity. 

Vulnerability and courage are beautiful expressions of our humanity. They come together to give us the nudge needed to show up, as we are, to the moment or the person in front of us. They give us what we need to learn and grow; to consider a new idea, a new venture or let go of what no longer serves us. Vulnerability and courage allow us to take in and see the common humanity in all of us.

Every time we are willing to show up real, we give other people permission to do the same. When we are brave enough to start over, to listen, take in, and have a change of heart, we lead the way for others to do the same. 

Courage and vulnerability are contagious. When we choose to live whole-heartedly, to bring all of ourselves to our work and life, we create spaces and communities for everyone to thrive. 

“On the other side of courage and vulnerability lies freedom, new expression, creativity, love, and authenticity.”

The power is always there, within us, ready to provide strength and courage.

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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company helping solopreneurs, entrepreneurs & leaders access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of fulfillment in work and life. She is the founder of Beyond Limits in Business, a global platform and community designed to point people to the source of human potential. That potential resides within and is experienced via our minds. Barb is also the host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. You can follow Barb on Linkedin and Instagram. You can also subscribe to her weekly blog on her website at 



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