Sunday, September 20, 2009


I've been thinking a lot about courage lately; what it is? where'd mine go? where can I get some? why aren't my testicles sprouting?

I thought I'd ask the blogosphere:

What helps you feel courageous? What gives you courage?


  1. Love that picture!

    Depends what it is. Going on a rollercoaster would require a lot of courage by me - but so does going to the dentist or for a PAP smear! Leaving a relationship is terrifying , telling someone something they don't want to hear needs courage (and wine and diplomacy - not necessarily in that order). We summon up various levels of courage on a daily basis and don't even acknowledge it. Then something else will floor us.

    Personally, I find it hard to drum up courage on my own - not always but I recognise this in myself now - and often need a nudge and push in the right direction. Someone to point out the obvious, I guess - like what's the worse that could happen. I might already know the answer but bouncing ideas off other people usually helps.

    I'm sure we're all quite bouncy in here Marnie ! hee hee

  2. I summon up my own courage in different situations.
    Around the age of 35 I grew up, took responsiblity for everything in my life, took a good look around and moved on.

    Anyway, depending on what the situation requires, I take a deep breath, say "here goes nothing Kym" and I do whatever it takes.
    Works like a charm for me every time.

    I may or may not get whatever it is I'm after, but I gather up all my strength from within and just go for it.

    Oh and a good support person or system is helpful as well.


  3. Great question.

    To live with courage is to recognize that fear is a natural rising agent that nudges us to act with courage. I also agree with Jelly. We need someone or something to help us keep perspective about ourselves and situations that require us to respond with more than we think we have to offer.

    Courage is born in the furnace of failure.

    When people tell me I have a lot of courage I don't really understand what they mean. I guess because I dare to make mistakes and to tremendously fail both of which I have done marvelously:)

    I think we don't understand courage because we don't allow people (especially children) enough opportunities to fail. Today everyone receives a ribbon at a school sporting event or an award at the end of a school year. So when faced with a situation in which we just might not succeed how do we develop the courage to try it anyways despite the odds or our own insecurity?

  4. I like Kathreen's response.

    I summon courage by discussing things out with a trusted friend to make sure I'm clearheaded on a situation.

  5. I have no courage at all. I avoid confrontation and hide. The only way I can do something is when I realise that there is no alternative.

  6. Necessity or desperation. Very few of us are ever tested to display courage in a hair-raising situation, thank goodness. To me, Rosa Parks had courage or maybe she was just very, very tired that day and needed to sit.

  7. A glass of wine!

    Ahem. Serious/non alcoholic answer...

    I have to go again with 'what's the worst that can happen' - although this wasn't so useful when I was convinced I was going to die by falling out of a Chinese cable car!

    Or what's working (very tentatively) for me is thinking what am I going to regret more - doing it and possibly failing or not doing it at all? Nothing like being an optimist! ;)

  8. Courage is often the absence of thought.

  9. Can I have the courage to ask if you are a man or a woman? You are a ms but you have testicles...anyway, leave the tigers alone or you are going to get killed!

  10. Thanks for your comments peeps.

    Ann - "I find it hard to drum up courage on my own..." Yeah, I hear you there. I think that's part of my problem. I'm facing life alone at the moment and it's scary.

    Ya know Jelly/Kym that is something I use to say to myself as well... well no I added a 'fuck' in there somewhere ;-) but I use to do this! Why did I stop?! My get my 'ah fuck it!' t-shirt on!

    Kathreen - "To live with courage is to recognize that fear is a natural rising agent that nudges us to act with courage" ... this is so good and so true. Fear is a part of life and to live your life despite or even to spite fear is courageous. I think right now I'm getting too caught up in comparing my fears now (while I'm struggling with an OCD flare-up) with what I normally fear... what I fear now is irrational and embarrassing and looks petty and silly to someone not in my head/shoes, so I find it hard to feel like I'm being courageous. Yet, I know from experience, when I've met others in my position, my compassion is huge... I really need show myself some of that!

    Thanks Sarah... understanding friends are great! And getting clear-headed... yes. I'm thinking the therapy is starting to sink in but... hmmm... I'm stubborn at time (like, always).

    Mog - I can relate to this 100%... avoidance of anxiety is something I should have a PhD in by now! But! I completely disagree that you have no courage... you've mountains of it my friend.

    Wolynski - Necessity or desperation... lol. So true really... Unfortunately or mebbe (hi Neil) fortunately, those are both my position right now.

    Jane - yeah that 'what's the worst that can happen' stuff is great when I'm fearing normal shit... with the OCD fears, worse case scenario is always death... so yeah, pass the wine! ;-)

    Oh Jayne... if I could only stop thinking! Wouldn't that be wonderful!? :-)

    Thanks again... lots to think, or not!, about.

  11. LOL!

    I'm a woman... who need testicles!

  12. Males? 8D

    I found that fear of embarrasment or social pressure are such strong that I've done crazy shit under them. Once I was working in this brick chimney. I was suppose to move myself from sledge to labber. Without any safetylines etc. I one fuck ups such a manouver at height of 30m end result would be faital. Every cell in my body was shouting DON'T DO IT!! Did it anyways. What is gourage? Maddness from where I stand.

  13. Good question, prkl. There's could be a lot of overlap between courage and madness... I taken a lot of risks in life that some would call mad; some have paid off, others have blown up in my face. Probably most people do this... maybe?

    I'm glad that you survived!

  14. I think I try to show that I,m not worried about scary things for the sake of friends and family, and usually come through ok.

  15. I didn't want to trivialise your question, so I saved this till the serious comments were done.....but I thought this might make you smile......

  16. That 'fake it til you feel it' is actually something I use a lot! Aside from me broadcasting my anxiety problem on the internet (haha), I usually don't tell people about it. I find it more helpful to feign being normal in that respect. That's a good reminder, Chris. Thanks.

    Mr Tasker! You freak me out! I was just thinking about this earlier! Thank you for the link... 'the ape in apricot', haha.

    Thanks again people. I would write more but I've got some ironing to admire...

  17. Not having a proper job since December and realising i can do loadsa (admittedly not brilliantly paid) other types of work that don't involve dressing like a middle aged schoolboy (shirt and tie) has made me realise that i have more courage than i ever knew. With any luck i'll never have to dress like that for work again.

    Bet you're quite courageous anaw. You sure sound it.

  18. Courage is doing what you must, that's all. Even if you are afraid, so what? Fear is not fatal. And having a Plan B is a tremendous support within yourself. Sometimes the demons require a Plan C as well. And going towards something that is what you really want. I love the Russian saying, "Pray to the Lord but keep on rowing to shore." Sometimes all you can do is keep rowing. But that's enough.

  19. After the last few days, I now definitely know that courage is the absence of thought.