It’s not easy to be courageous. The child who stands up to the school bully may get physically assaulted in the hallway. The employee who believes that her supervisor is acting unethically may fear retribution in the form of a pink slip for speaking out as a whistle blower. The groomsman who suspects that alcoholism or infidelity is shattering bonds of trust may choose to remain silent, lest he risk losing a close friendship.
When nerve fails us, we wither. In those moments, a part of us suffers. We become ashamed by our lack of courage, even if our action (or inaction) is rational and understandable. And we set in motion a certain (and negative) narrative about ourselves. Having withered once, we tell ourselves, “I’m not courageous.” “I can’t do this.” “Surely, someone else will speak up.”
The only way to become more courageous is to practice acts of courage. To put ourselves out there. To risk failure, embarrassment, humiliation, or shame. In time, and with God’s help, we begin to form a new narrative about ourselves which is rooted in positive affirmations. “I can do this.” “I am principled.” “My opinions matter.” “I deserve to be respected and treated well.” “I am courageous.” And once we’ve flipped the narrative, there’s no going back.
Peace and best wishes,