True Personal Courage

There are many levels of what true personal courage looks like - facing our worst fears, selflessly supporting others when we don't have much ourselves, battling a terminal illness without complaint, deciding to leave a long-term relationship, making a decision to euthanise a dearly loved family pet - each requiring strength.

Other lesser recognised forms of personal courage might include - facing up to a bully, asking for a pay increase or promotion, making a speech in front of a large audience, apologising for an error on our part, or inviting someone out on a date - these things also take a certain amount of courage.

Daily personal courageous acts might include - trying a new food, deciding not to drink when those around you are doing so, meeting a new neighbour - acts that are meaningful to you as a person that you can undertake daily.

Each of these types of acts requires a different level of personal courage, but each example is still courageous nonetheless.

The military rightly recognises courage with medals. Medals are often awarded for acts of bravery while in the presence of the enemy. For me, and in no way to diminish the military honour system, this same definition might also describe true personal courage - bravery while in the presence of the enemy.

There are many people doing wonderful acts while in the midst of their enemy. Those who have faced domestic violence working with perpetrators of that violence, or those who have been sexually abused working to help the abusers, or perhaps those who tell their journey of mental illness in front of those who are struggling themselves with a mental illness.

Each of these people are reliving their worst nightmare so that others may not.

Perhaps this is true personal courage. Not only are they doing something courageous in the face of their enemy, they are doing so again and again, often without recognition.

No matter what your description of personal courage might be, we should all be encouraged to undertake something courageous at least once a month as a minimum, no matter at what level, to become stronger.

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