Can we learn to be courageous?


One of the definitions of courage says, that it is the ability and willingness to confront fear and pain.

Willingness seems to be a personal decision, but from my experience this decision is easier to make, if our ability to deal with fear and pain is highly developed.  If we are more skilled, it is easier to be courageous.

I look at courage as something personal, on a very deep, intimate level. What frightens me, doesn´t make you afraid in the same way, what you need courage for, may seem easy to me. Courage as a personal experience means most of the times to take the very next, small step, that brings us closer to who we are and connects us to the people and the world around us.

We don´t need to be heroes:

We might think, that we have to overcome fear in order to be courageous, which leads us many times to harm ourselves. We might train ourselves to do things in spite or fear, but suffer through the experience.  Or we might be so scared, that we avoid fear and pain and suffocate, living a life, that feels safe, but lacks meaning.

My teaching about daring takes a different path. It means a sensual learning of paying attention to our body and our surrounding in order to react accordingly. It means enjoying excitement and moving towards interesting, fulfilling things and moving away from danger. Our minds may be confused about the distinction but our bodies usually aren´t.

Although courage sometimes takes us to life changing decisions, daily life is about small things like daring to say something, that others won´t like, struggle with the fear of being alone, postponing the acts, that frighten us like answering a mail or facing a difficult task at work. It´s about enjoying to play the guitar in front of people and about saying no, when we feel a clear no in our guts, although this “no” might not be appreciated by others.

It is a life time lesson. You will learn about courage throughout your life, if you chose to and if you don´t.  If you chose, take the joyful way, it will work better.

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