I watched Brené Brown’s The Call to Courage recently with my daughter. It’s a brilliant presentation and I highly recommend watching it, particularly with your teens. One of the interesting facts she highlights in her show is that while our culture values courage and considers it a virtue, it seems to simultaneously consider vulnerability a weakness. As Brené points out, however, it is impossible to be courageous without being vulnerable, for courage involves doing or saying something without being certain of the outcome – something that leads to feelings of vulnerability.
I had an experience recently that required me to muster a lot of courage. I went after something I have wanted for a while now and I can tell you that I felt increadibly vulnerable as I expressed myself, not knowing if I would succeed in getting what I wanted.
But here is the thing.
After the initial pain had passed, I felt increatibly proud of myself and freed by the experience. I did something brave, I lived through it, and I emerged stronger on the other side, knowing that I can handle pain and disappointment and feeling empowered because I was true to myself.
Courage is a necessary ingredient of growth. Give yourself the chance to practice it. Start with baby steps and build up to bigger things. Learn to be true to yourself and see yourself blossom into the powerful, beautiful person you were born to be.