Courage is Hideous!

How do you define courage?

Is it skydiving from a high flying plane? How about switching careers? Is courage to you leaving an abusive relationship?

What is the most courageous thing have you done?

The Courage Program

Dovico, the company I work for, generously offers every employee a chance to fulfill a courageous dream. The program called “Courage” removes the excuse of money that employees may use to hold back. Many of us have young families, and it may be difficult to swing spending money on something non-essential to the family. But to Dovico, enabling employees to take a chance to bolster their confidence and sense of accomplishment through a courageous act, is the key to improving innovation and creativity.

It’s a fantastic opportunity, but ever since it was announced, I’ve struggled to define what courage means to me. The most courageous thing I’ve ever done didn’t cost me a cent. Backing away from a very involving relationship with my father after disclosing that he molested me as a child was easily the most challenging and courageous thing I’ve ever done. Nothing about that part of my life was clean, beautiful or heroic. It was courageous, but it wasn’t pretty.

How can I possibly be any more courageous?

After a few years of finding my voice and my life, my TEDx talk about healing from child abuse the next courageous thing I’ve done. What courageous thing could I ever do that would top those significant events in my life?

Over the past few months, I’ve spent considerable time trying to redefine my idea of courage. What is it? Do I have to necessarily have to “top” the courageous things I’ve done in the past? Of course not. Courage is not a “1 up” competition.

All courage is hideous!

Courage is the result of what happens in the mess of realignment. When what you’re doing is not aligned with your gut feeling, then you are not living your true self. When you finally muster up the fortitude to realign your life, that’s courage at its purest. Courage is not meant to give you a good memory of thrill-seeking enjoyment, it’s intended to disrupt and change you. When you follow through, courage changes you at the deepest part of your soul. Courage is not pretty, it’s not honourable and it’s not just for heroes.

Courage is hideous, but if you follow through, you will become beautiful in its wake.