There are countless self-help and how-to books available. In most bookstores, if you have a local one still around, revolve around this. The self-help section is substantial and all the other sections are full of self-help disguised as how-to books. My own bookshelves are full of these books, guides, frameworks, and so on. They are my companions as I learn, grow, imagine, create.
And yet, it is rare that these books, frameworks, guides mention courage as an underlying foundation needed to take the steps outlined.
: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficultyMerriam-Webster
We can talk about change; about ethics; or we can talk about appropriate technology. But to stand out, to do something slightly different, to raise our hand; that is a courageous act. A brave act.
And for many of us, the start of courage happening in our heads, inside ourselves. Our brains are wired to protect us, to stay part of the ‘tribe’ as isolation or standing out gets us noticed. And it’s the noticed ones who become food for the other animals. So our self-talk tends to be about self-preservation, about fear, about blending in.
Maybe it is time to have a conservation with ourselves. Perhaps we can admit we are fearful or timid or even a bit weak. And then in our discussions we ourselves and with others we can acknowledge the need for courage. We can ask for it.
Perhaps we will be surprised who steps forward. Who knows, we might even step forward. The choice is up to you. And do not undervalue the courage every small act, small step requires. Most of life is underpinned by courage.