Courage is a trait shared by all great leaders. And it’s the key to living a bigger life: “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” ~ Anais Nin

Are you courageous?

When people are asked what the opposite of “being courageous” is, most say “being fearful”. But most courageous leaders also have plenty of fear.

So what is the true opposite of “being courageous”? It’s “being comfortable.”

It’s comfortable to do what is easy. Being courageous means doing what is hard.

It’s comfortable to do what you know. Being courageous means to step into the unknown.

It’s comfortable to follow the status quo. Being courageous means standing for your truth, no matter how disruptive it may be.

It’s comfortable to be liked. Being courageous means being willing to take criticism and ridicule for what you believe in.

It’s comfortable to want to stay right when you’re not. Being courageous means admitting that you’re wrong when you are.

Courage isn’t fearlessness, but directed fearfulness. The word comes from “Cor” ~ The Latin word for heart. Both courage and fear come from the heart.

Courage occurs when your fear of not trying becomes greater than your fear of failing.

I’m in South Africa right now, reading about Nelson Mandela’s life. He’s famous for being willing to give up a comfortable life to be a true leader – and to direct his fear into action.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triump over it.” ~ Nelson Mandela

What comforts should you give up to live your greater truth? What fears can you harness to reach your greatest power?

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