I am always looking for the courage to change, and the courage to heal. I need advice on developing the quality of courage. What is courage? How can one become courageous? Why do people feel the need to change, and how to they get themselves to do it?

I re-opened this question because I have seen so MUCH courage lately on this site. Think about it....Jai

July 19, 2012 In memory of Clara Elvina Johnsen, my grandmother, who had the courage of lions, and whose birthday was this day.

asked 09 Dec '09, 22:59

Jaianniah's gravatar image


edited 20 Jul '12, 06:50

In my experience, courageous people are courageous because they know they can do it and are prepared to do it, or they feel the fear and do it anyway. It's not a way of being, and it's not about who you are; it's a decision.

Most fear is unfounded; unless you are hang-gliding or bungi-jumping, what you are contemplating doing is most likely going to cause you to be embarrassed briefly at worst. Think about how wonderful a state-change like that would feel!

Perhaps you fear failure; I say welcome it. Each time you fail, you learn something new. Most people learn more from failing than they do from succeeding anyway. Edison tried 2000 different materials before he was successful at creating a working filament for the first light bulb. When asked, "How did you keep going in the face of so many failures?", Edison replied, "I didn't fail 2000 times; I found 2000 ways to NOT make a light bulb."

Now I'm not saying you need to fail 2000 times to make this work; I am saying that a change of perspective can work wonders.

A brief story, from my own experience:

As you may know, studies show that most people are more afraid of speaking in front of a crowd than they are of dying, which means that, if you are at a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than delivering the eulogy.

Several years ago, I worked for a company that made a specialized product for industry (doesn't really matter what the product was). I worked for the support department, and I was good at my job. One of the salespeople knew me and liked me; we'll call him Dave (because that was his name). One day Dave came into my department and asked me if I wanted to go on a field trip with him. He explained that he had a couple of people that he wanted to talk to about the product, and he wanted me to give them a technical briefing. I said, "Sure."

You should know a couple of things about Dave. First, he knew that I was knowledgeable enough to give a proper briefing, and second, Dave was a bit of a jokester.

So we went to this large, very nice looking business complex, got in the elevator, and made our way to the office where the two people I was supposed to discuss our product with were. Finally, we approached a door and Dave said, "They're in here." He opened the door, and I walked into a large conference room. Along one wall of the room was a white board. The remainder of the room was filled with one of those long walnut power-conference tables, with about a dozen people sitting on each side, and a man sitting at the end wearing a very expensive suit.

Dave said, "This is Robert; he's going to explain our product line. Go ahead, Robert."

So I did.

There really wasn't time to be fearful or nervous; I just did it. Since then, I have never feared public speaking. Oh, sure, I still get the butterflies, but I channel that energy into enthusiasm about what I am going to say, and excitement about getting to speak in front of a group, because it is something that I truly enjoy. I also make sure that I am fully prepared for what I am going to speak about.

Thank you Dave, wherever you are.


answered 09 Dec '09, 23:39

Vesuvius's gravatar image


edited 09 Dec '09, 23:56

Thank you Vesuvius for sharing that story. You have no idea how your story has helped me.

(10 Dec '09, 03:46) The Traveller

@Vesuvius- And applying Bashar's "so what" way of life, you can go into public speaking, and even if you do stuff up or whatever,

"So what?"

(22 Jul '12, 08:18) Nikulas

When the needing to change, or wanting to change, overpowers the fear.


answered 10 Dec '09, 21:17

LeeAnn%201's gravatar image

LeeAnn 1

What is courage? Thomas Jefferson said that one person with courage is a majority.

Courage to me is taking the first step to leadership, standing up for what I believe in, looking past my personal goals, and dedicating my life for the betterment of mankind, and doing what I was born to do against the odds.

How does a person develop courage? “We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fears.” Martin Luther King, Jr. Also, a person can develop courage from God, the source of all power: you can look for possibility, don’t dwell on your problem, you can start with the simplest task, and work up to the bigger, and more challenging task, you can be persistent, you can allow yourself to think affirmatively, and you can get to know your strength, instead of looking at your weakness.

Some people are born leaders, while others do not seek to be leaders. But the ones that want to be leaders can develop their leadership ability. Some leaders have one style that is right for a certain situation, and wrong for others. Some leaders can adapt and use different leadership styles for given situation. And leadership can be performed with different styles. There are many qualities of effective leadership, such as confidence, and charisma which will continue to grow from experience in the leadership role. Change will come, and change will be improved based upon situation, and leadership style.


answered 11 Dec '09, 06:47

Inactive%20User's gravatar image

Inactive User ♦♦

If you lack fear you need no courage so courage is to overcome fear, one of my favorite movies there is a quote that talks about fear. The master says to the student that is afraid to join him standing on a building ledge "What is the matter why wont you come up here? You are afraid! Fear is nothing but a feeling, you feel tired, you feel hungry, you feel sleepy, you feel happy, you feel sad. A feeling can not harm you! Now get up here with me!"

The other thing is to see the thing the fear as nothing to fear, that requires more work making fun of the feared thing, for example fear of public speaking. At first you feel the fear "oh what if they don't like me!" then you make fun of it "If they don't like me, maybe they'll form a mob against me saying get him/her we don't like her/him!" "then I'll have to go running away while all these hundreds of angry people are chasing after me all armed with shovels and pitch forks and torches all yelling get him/her that lousy speaker!" "next I'm speeding away in my car and all these police come after me but I am so scared I keep driving and they start shooting at me!!!" "Hum it can't be that bad if they don't like me, and even if they don't like my speaking it doesn't mean they hate me." "maybe it will be alright and everyone cheers!" "Maybe a mob of people will come cheering and grab me and throw me in the air 3 times saying yeah she's/he's the greatest!"

You have to play with it giving ridiculous scenes until just speaking seems like no big deal compared to the wild possible but highly improbable images you come up with.


answered 11 Dec '09, 11:20

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

edited 12 Dec '09, 07:45


Courage is an "action" word." You don't get courage while sitting still. You Learn it from doing things you are afraid of doing. It can be small things, like getting out of bed when you are depressed (I do not mean "blue"- I mean clinically depressed.) It can be big things, too. But it is in doing the small things where you get your spiritual "muscles".

Courage is not often noticed. You may be the only person who knows when you are being courageous. Raising a child to be a decent human takes courage. For that matter, just getting pregnant and having the baby takes a great deal of courage. Overcoming a bad habit takes courage. Smiling and being nice when you feel like eating nails takes courage. Sometimes, courage is in small actions you do...You may not even have noticed.

Courage is doing new things after years of not doing new things.This is my tribute to someone I love. He is facing many new and unknown pressures, and is learning, learning, learning. He always wakes up with a smile. He is still kind and gentle, despite his worries. He always cares about others. He has not let his new life stop him from being who he is. That takes a LOT of courage.

Courage is showing up, day after day, year after year, and doing God's Will. Factory workers. Policemen. Nurses. Teachers. From the lowest to the highest, these people have courage.

Courage is really a form of great love.Courage is true love for other people. It encompasses self-sacrifice, and even giving up your life to save someone else; but it also encompasses the mother who washes clothes week after week, often without thanks. When you show courage, you are displaying The Hand of God in your life.


Jaianniah ♥♥♥


answered 20 Jul '12, 06:47

Jaianniah's gravatar image


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