Quick!! What animal comes to mind when you think of “courage”?

A sloth?

A panda?

If you’re like most, you probably thought LION.

And it’s loud roar.

A small fish probably didn’t come to mind.

Whether it’s a Hollywood movie trailer or a cartoon, courage is almost always shown in a big, large and LOUD way.

But that’s not the only display of courage, for your or a fish.

Choosing and showing courage is often done rather quietly and without much fanfare. It’s still courage.

You’re the ultimate expert on what truly “feels” right to you. And expressing that respectfully yet directly to others is showing courage. Even if you do it rather quietly or without shouting.

There’s nothing wrong with looking at what others are doing to consider if it’s for you, too. But, choosing courage means that you’re truly choosing something that works for you, not just because everyone else is doing it.

Let’s look at some quick exercise examples:

  • Everyone in your work group loves doing CrossFit. But you’ve never liked it and would prefer your slower-paced yet intense Vinyasa Yoga Classes instead. You feel compelled to go with your co-workers or risk feeling like you’re rejecting them
  • Growing up, you were always told you were a good swimmer but really didn’t enjoy it. Everyone in your family swam, so you had to as a kid. But no longer – you’d rather dance the night away to burn off calories
  • You’d love to take up tap dancing in your 40’s but your spouse or partner teases you a bit about it. You don’t know anyone in your social circle that tap dances but you’re still drawn to it

This can apply to any activity you’re either considering to START soon. Or STOP. You can choose courage:

Decide that something is right for you and simply move in that direction

That’s it. No loud, dramatic confrontation required. And once you’ve finally given yourself permission to finally decide on it, you’ll regain some mental and physical energy.

Will you decide today to simply yet quietly choose courage for yourself? For something that you’ve been carrying around with guilt or angst for a while?

Do you have a friend or loved one that could use this encouragement to zig instead of zag? To swim in their own direction rather than following the crowd? Feel free to share as quietly (and courageously) with them if you’d like.