No Cowardly Lion

Exercising Courage

Aristotle taught that courage is the first of human virtues, because it makes the other virtues possible. Courage is like a muscle that grows stronger and more established when you exercise it and, conversely, can grow flaccid through lack of use. Being courageous means daring to go beyond your comfort level, to step out and push the boundaries of what you consider safe. Medals of honor, won in a single day, arise from qualities honed over a lifetime.

You can build the strength and commitment to act with courage by consistently embracing and practicing small acts of bravery. Begin building your “courage muscle,” by taking time at the end of your day to reflect on and affirm the courage you showed when you spoke out at work, signed up for scuba diving, rock climbing or yoga class, or simply walked through the day affirming your life, rather than being critical of yourself. Visualize those moments and re-live them, acknowledging your capacity for courage and pumping up the muscle that says, “I can!”

To overcome fears: Meditation for the Negative Mind

Recommended: Facing Fear, Finding Courage: Your Path to Peace of Mind by Sarah Quigley


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