Personal Growth

The Real Meaning Of Courage (5 Myths Debunked)

Lies about courage

It’s time to debunk the lies about courage that are stopping you from making bold choices, taking the leap, and finding that inner strength to do the very thing that scares you. It’s time to understand the real meaning of courage.

Living a good life is going to be tough if we don’t have the courage to take the leaps of faith that could ultimately change our lives.

As a gift from me to you, I’m going to explain to you exactly what real meaning of courage is by dispelling some myths about what courage is NOT.

Followed by how you can indeed have yourself the courage of a Superhero… Why should they take it all for themselves, right?

The Meaning of Courage Encourages The Every-Day Human

For most of my young adult life, I’ve felt pretty pathetic if truth be told. I hid in social situations, I was afraid of my own voice, riddled with anxiety (the irony being that courage would probably be the best form of anxiety relief!), and too scared to go after those things that mean so much to me.

That would give my life meaning.

Ultimately, I came to that conclusion and that is where I lived for a long while. In a self-admitted pathetic little bubble of shame and weakness.

At least, this is what I told myself. How could I possibly achieve anything in life if I simply don’t have the courage to do something that challenges me? How can I begin finding a purpose in life when everything scares me?!

The true meaning of courage was lost to me.

If my avoidance for uncomfortable situations overpowers my desire to achieve then how will I get anywhere in life?

These are all serious questions. Have you ever asked yourself something similar or felt that weight and sadness that comes from feeling weak? Well, I do hope not but chances are, if you’re reading this, then you and me might have something in common, eh?

That’s why I wanted to write this article about the lies we’ve been told all of our lives about courage and debunk the myths that have been stopping us from being the brave human being’s that we all have the capability to become.

Firstly, I have written this FREE 15-page mini-E-book just for the likes of you (and me) which will be a great segway into making some real progress after reading this article.

Grab your copy now. It will be sent straight to your inbox to read at your leisure.

The Lies You’ve Been Told About Courage And It’s Meaning

a courageous young boy wearing a superhero mask and cape

Time to begin. When going through the below 5 lies about courage, what it means, and who it is meant for, ask yourself if you have ever been made to feel this way.

Or more importantly, ask yourself if you have felt the burden of any of the below lies which may have stopped you from taking positive leaps of faith in the past.

Courage has a hefty role in personal development.

It takes emotional and mental strength in the face of the uncomfortable to be courageous and grit to be driven when you lack all confidence in yourself. It takes balls to walk toward fear and it takes guts to take the hit when it doesn’t go to plan.

Above all, it then takes courage to keep going despite it all and that is the real meaning of courage.

I couldn’t begin the list below before recommending reading the work of Brene Brown – a mastermind and professional shame researcher. The information this has to offer you surrounding courage, shame and vulnerability is, in my opinion, unmatched.

If you’re really looking to get some true understanding about all of this then i’d suggest by starting with ‘Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead‘….IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE!

the front cover of Brene Brown's book 'Daring Greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead'

If you read the information in this book and actually apply it to your life, IMPLEMENT what Brene explains (with ease and clarity) then your life will change for the better.

Just through reading this book has my relationship strengthened and my self confidence has come on leaps and bounds simply because what Brene teaches makes complete and utter sense.

No BS. Just straight up truths and great advice. You can watch her Ted Talk here to give you a taster of what you’re in for!

49,863,043 VIEWS!!!

1. COURAGE CAN’T BE TAUGHT

a comical image of the superhero spiderman sitting high up on the edge of a building casually reading a book

There seems to be this generalized idea floating around that courage is an innate quality that some of us are lucky to possess and others are not.

Well, this is not particularly helpful for the likes of you and me now, is it.

Luckily, this is not the case. Courage is like a muscle that can be worked and strengthened, not an ability that is out of reach for those of us not born with a strong sense of courage.

With time and practice, courage is a skill that can be developed and learned. Much like someone learning to sing. Anyone who can speak can learn to sing and anyone with a functioning brain can learn to be courageous.

Practice and routine will eventually make it a habit. You want to reach the point where you might only take a millisecond to think about whether to take the leap or not.

This comes with repetition. Flex and train your mind in courage the same way you would train your bodies to be strong.

Over time, you will acclimatize to the discomfort of situations that scare you or that you find challenging until you reach a point where the necessity to be courageous is actually needed elsewhere.

Because now, you are happy to live in the uncomfortable and that is the meaning of courage.

2. FEAR IS A BAD THING AND MUST BE AVOIDED – NO COURAGE REQUIRED!

Fear is part of every day life.

And fear and courage are intrinsically linked.

Humans were made to have an existence whereby struggle and pain is the pathway to success and pleasure. You simply cannot have one without the other.

However, when we think of pain and struggle we understandably feel fear surrounding this. In this, you are not alone.

Fear is experienced by every single human on the planet to one degree or another. The first problem with the above lie is that IT CANNOT BE AVOIDED.

So, there is not much use in saying that it must be avoided at all costs because this is truly an impossible task. To believe that it is better to avoid fear that find the courage to face it is detrimental to living a good life!

Why? Because fear should never be avoided and therefore we must cultivate courage.

Secondly, fear is not always bad.

Oftentimes fear is an indication that we care about something, that it holds great weight and that the stakes are high.

What I mean by this is that the fear we experience in this situation might be to do with failure if the risk doesn’t pan out. But you see, more often than not, this also means that the rewards could be huge!

Much like jealousy, fear can be the driving force that tells you what you really want. This dark emotion is not always a bad thing to experience, it’s up to us to distinguish when it is helpful and when it is detrimental.

3. COURAGE IS FOR THE SUPERHEROES

the comic book illustration of the sound 'BOOM'

This is a great one because I feel as though it’s incredibly relatable for a lot of people, myself included!

When we think of courage we might not be able to stop ourselves from thinking that ‘courage is for the likes of THEM‘ The them in this situation being the army vets, the firefighters, doctors, police officers etc…The Superheroes of our world.

These particular individuals face life and death situations on a daily basis and so the sheer magnitude of courage needed to simply do their job and often SURVIVE day to day is beyond our comprehension.

When there are people like this in the world, doing what they do, we don’t feel as though we can even begin to compare or relate.

THEY need courage. THEY face real fear and real challenges.

I don’t need courage to live my life.’

WRONG! Every single person in this world could have an entirely different life if they could harness the power of courage and use it in a way that fills their needs in THEIR lives.

Again, I encourage you to read the FREE 15 page E-book which delves into this specific point in greater detail and could help you begin your journey to awakening your courage.

4. COURAGE IS SAVING SOMEONE FROM DROWNING WHEN YOU CAN’T SWIM

Make no mistake here everyone, there is a HUGE difference between courage and recklessness.

Across the board in every Action Adventure movie in history will you see the protagonist hanging from cliff edges, suspended from rooftops, driving through crazy busy streets or flying a plane that only has one wing.

Of course, this is desirable. Who doesn’t want such an adrenaline fueled, kick-ass life where we are the hero’s of our own stories? I do!

But this is so unrealistic. There is a clear and defined difference between taking a bold, courageous step after careful thought and consideration and reacting spontaneously in a situation with evaluating whether it is the RIGHT decision.

Courage and bravery are not reckless.

Saving someone from drowning when you can’t swim is ADMIRABLE but it is not COURAGEOUS. It is a fine example of reckless behavior as now, the likelihood is that someone who can swim has to try and save two drowning victims instead of just the one.

5. COURAGE DOES NOT EXIST IN DAY TO DAY LIFE

A lie about courage that a lot of people believe to be true and that I find most upsetting is that courage doesn’t exist on a day to day basis.

When take a moment to reminisce over times where we made a bold decision and took a leap of faith we might only think of those grander gestures in time.

For example, when you moved to a new city by yourself with no money and no friends. Or deciding to marry that person who you’ve only known for 6 months but you knew it was for life. Or cutting ties with a toxic friend because you knew they were bad for you.

These are all fine examples of courage for the everyman.

However what happens is that we don’t give ourselves recognition for the regular occurrences in life that do in fact take courage whether your realize it or not.

It takes courage to:

Go and work at a job you hate just to pay the bills.

Take care of your very first child every day when you’re not entirely sure what you’re doing.

Follow a passion when you don’t know if you’ll ever be successful.

Admit a mistake you made to your parents.

Work on your relationship every single day so that it can be happy and successful.

There are a thousand daily acts in life that take courage that you do not give yourself credit for. Are they to the same degree of courage required by the army officer or the surgeon? No, probably not.

But it is still courage and it is needed. Do not compare YOUR courage to others. Be courageous for yourself in whatever that may be – this is the real meaning of courage.

(Grab Part 2 for Free today – ‘How To Have The Courage Of A Superhero’ E-book).

MOVE ON TO THE NEXT LESSON IN THIS GUIDE TO LIVING A GOOD LIFE: 3 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD LIVE IN THE UNCOMFORTABLE

About Emma Loveday

Hi there! My name is Emma, founder and writer of 'Resilient Humans'. Lover of slippers, 13% vol red wine, online courses (I don't care, you don't know me!) and queso, obviously. I'm currently in the process of writing my new book, 'Bold, Brave & Brilliant: 12 life lessons to cultivate mental strength and emotional resilience'. Check out @resilientemma on Instagram for the latest updates and all of the juicy goodness. Any questions? Just drop me a DM at hello@resilienthumans.co.uk or jump in the comment section below, I'd love to hear from you. No, truly I would.
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