Author and professor, Brené Brown, has a beautiful definition for courage:
“Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences – good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as ordinary courage.”Brené Brown
I love this definition, but, of course, it’s easy to say but hard to do in practice. When we speak with friends or colleagues or even – maybe especially? – family members we often hold back or filter what we say. We hold back what we’re truly feeling for the sake of not rocking the boat. By holding back our thoughts that might help others understand us a little bit better, we’re losing the opportunity to gift others a bit of ourselves.
I’ve always had challenges with opening up. Maybe because of the culture or environment that I was raised in the idea of maintaining peace and outward harmony was more important than telling the truth. It’s often in childhood that we’re taught the behaviors that will keep us safe and in the good graces of our parents. However, as I grew older, I realized that not being able to summon the courage to speak my truth became a hindrance in my personal and professional lives.
To me, “Start With Courage” is about speaking your truth. It’s something I try to work on everyday. Whether it’s with my clients that I work with that need to hear about an opinion I have on an approach they’re taking or with my friends & family that need to know how I’m truly feeling about something that happened in the past. It’s liberating when you can make courage a starting point and not just a once-in-a-while thing you do.