What is courage? Does a courage definition extend to bravery? Hello, welcome back to the website. In this article, we are going to share thoughts and ideas about courage. For example, we will discuss what courage is, what bravery is, and what use they are to you on your journey through life.
As you read about the various ideas and modern thought around courage, I hope you will be inspired to try out some of the ideas in your own life. Similarly, it would be wonderful if something you read here really resonates and propels you forward past challenges in your life, to true freedom and the life you deserve.
Our aim at Hit Refresh Now is to provide thought provoking content and to be of service to you in love. Our purpose is to encourage you to hit that refresh button in your own life and find happiness and fulfilling purpose.
Remember the lyrics of the song by the band Simple Minds “A coward dies a thousand times, a brave man dies just once.”
Please bear in mind that the content and ideas shared in this article are just the thoughts and experiences of the author and do not constitute any form of professional advice. As a result, this article is given to you for edutainment purposes only.
What is the Dictionary Meaning of Courage?
Courage is the ability to move forward in your life in spite of fear and insecurity. When you display courage, you have an inner knowing and feeling that you “can.” Once you add movement towards your intended aim, “I can” becomes “I can and I will.”
Courage is about recognising the possibility of change, a better future and allowing yourself to be empowered, even though the outcomes of your efforts are not certain to be what you want. It is better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all. In fact, there is no such thing as failure, only learning.
A definition of courage should really differentiate between the types of mental or moral strength included and the types of courageousness that you can display.
For example, here are some types of courage:
- Emotional Strength.
- A willingness to confront
- Putting Yourself at risk.
Why is Courageousness Important?
Courage is important, because it is the beginning of knowingness. It is the beginning of the journey from fear to love. When you move into a state of being courageous, you begin to remember who you are as part of the universal mind, a limitless co-creator of all you perceive around you.
Everything in your life has the meaning that you have given it. All of that meaning has come from your past. Because of this, you see nothing as it really is now, in the present, everything is colored by your past.
If you could see everything as it is now, you would see it as meaningless when referred to the past, because the past doesn’t exist anymore. Because the past doesn’t exist anymore, you have the opportunity to live in the present as a new person, with a blank slate before you.
It’s Your Choice.
You choose how you go forward and shine your light on all you create. Subsequently, your life becomes full of possibility and your perception turns to the true vision of the wonderful soul that you are at your core.
All you need to let go of your past, embrace the present and the unlimited possibility of the future; is the courage to choose.
Without courageous action you dont build resliience in your life. Your most important measure of success and happiness in life, is how your actions and behavior stand up to scrutiny against your core values. Can you persevere in living those values and doing what needs to be done, showing emotional strength in the face of adversity and personal risk. Running away from these situations or in the worst-case, showing cowardice instead of heroism, may indicate that your core values are negotiable. It requires courageousness and bravery to take your core values and live them with perseverence, resilience and deliberation. Courageous people dont negotiate away, or around, thier values.
What Happens in Your Brain When You Are Courageous?
The part of your brain that activates in times of threat is called the amygdala. Moreover, this part of your brain is part of the old primal brain; it is called the limbic system. The amygdala is where your fight, freeze or fight response comes from.
The response that you have towards a threat which activates the amygdala is instinctive, not calculated. The limbic part of the brain has been with humans since the beginning. However, as we evolved, our brains developed a prefrontal cortex, which separates us from less evolved creatures.
Through the prefrontal cortex we developed a reasoning mind with can exercise judgement and reasoned reactions to different things that stimulate your brain.
There is a part of your modern brain called the subgenual anterior cingulated cortex. This is a bit of a mouthful, but this part of your brain works to suppress bodily fear responses.
The brain science of courage involves a competition between your amygdala and the subgenual anterior cingulated cortex. Whichever is stronger determines how you will react to fear. You are unlikely to reach a state of fearlessness, but your courage may result in you being able to take bold action even without the absence of fear.
You can employ various strategies that to make sure that your courage wins over your fear. For example, awareness of the way your brain processes threats is a good start and will help you to choose courage over fear.
How Breathing Exercises Help.
Another useful technique is a breathing exercise. When you engage in a breathing exercise where your out-breath is longer than your in-breath, this gets your brain frequency to cycle down from an agitated state to a more relaxed state. In addition, it slows down and suppresses the action of your amygdala, thereby reducing your fear reaction.
Does Being Courageous Mean Having No Fear?
From the discussion and explanation above, you can clearly see that fear and courage are partners in crime. Courage needs fear to be able to push you forward towards new possibilities and to help you to overcome present challenges and threats. Fear recognizes the threat. However, courage takes you past fear to action. Courage reduces the panic caused by fear and can restore the reasoning mind to dominance in the situation at hand.
Courage without fear would be like a boxing match where your opponent didn’t turn up. Even the bravest feel fear as it is a perfectly healthy quality of the mind.
Courage is your choice to move forward in spite of your fear. It is the recognition that you are greater than your fears. It is also the recognition of the need for change in your life and that you won’t allow the status quo to dominate your thoughts and your quality of life.
Courage is the start of your journey to loving yourself and your life experience. If we are not able to act in courage we sink back into fear, apathy, guilt and shame.
How Do You Develop Courageousness?
A good start to developing courage, is to acknowledge that sometimes things just don’t go as you planned. Failure is not something to be ashamed of; it is an opportunity to learn. Congratulations, when you fail, you have discovered what didn’t work and so you don’t have to waste time on it any more.
You can decide to develop techniques to minimize your fears, such as mindfulness and breathing exercises. It would be helpful to consider the inevitability of change in life. The universe has been changing for billions of years and it is still moving along nicely, so can you. Also it is a fact that life is just not fair, by accepting this you can spare yourself unnecessary disappointment.
It is important for you to consider your place in the universe too. You should realize that if you didn’t exist as you are, the universe wouldn’t exist is it is. That is quite something to think about. How does that make you feel?
Don’t Suppress, Let Go.
Never try to suppress your fear, acknowledge it, feel it and allow it to be. Just choose that your courage is greater than your fear and take one step forward, then another, then another. Before you know it, you complet your journey.
Always remember that the anticipation of experience is more intimidating than the experience itself. You’ve got this, for every challenge the solution existed all along. You just have to allow it to come to you.
Letting go of the past and the meaning you gave to all the experiences you have been through, will allow you a fresh start. It will root you in the present, which is where you can be your best self.
The importance of Your Core Values.
Lastly it is vitally important to know your core values. These values define who you are and how you want to experience and be experienced by others. These core values are the most powerful things about yourself that you affirm. Can you live your core values as you express you individuality? History is full of heros who refused to give away their values, such as Gandhi, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther. Your tests may not be the same but nevertheless, how you react and live your values determines the quality of your contribution to human behavior.
What is the Spiritual Significance of Courageousness?
Courage is the letting go of the influence of ego to dominate your thoughts. When you display courageous behavior, you affirm your higher self and let go of your little self.
Your courage is a source of inspiration to others. By your acts of courage, you show others how to become free from the past and you allow people and situations to show up differently in your life. If you want to be an inspiration to others, don’t tell them; show them.
With your courage, you open up limitless possibilities of choices that you can make to define who you will be. One of the first words from the Kabalistic middle pillar meditation, a very powerful meditation that brings balance to your life, is “Eyeheh,” which means “I am, I will be.”
So who are you and who are you going to be?
Some Examples of Bravery and Courage?
Acts of courage come in all shapes and sizes. It can be physical, moral, social, emotional and spiritual.
If you suffer from deep depression, great courage is making the effort to get out of bed, get dressed and go out of your house.
In wartime, you hear of those brave souls who gave up their lives so that others could be free.
Helping a stranger is a courageous act, particularly if you are an introvert.
Anonymous acts of generosity and kindness are particularly brave, as you give up the feeling of recognition that would be your reward. Instead, you have the internal self validation of your act as your only compensation.
Standing up for yourself against people who mistreat you is a courageous act, as is standing up for others who can’t defend themselves.
Quotes about Courageousness and Fortitude:
Here is a selection of quotes about being courageous. As you read them, please think about what they mean to you, which ones resonate with you and where you are in your journey?
“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”– Vincent Van Gogh.
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”– Winston Churchill.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”– T. S. Eliot.
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”– Mark Twain.
“The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage.”– Thucydides.
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”– Anais Nin.
“The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.”– Robert Green Ingersoll.
“If you could get up the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.”– David Viscott.
“Courage is a kind of salvation.”– Plato.
Bravery vs Courage, Is There a Difference?
The traditionally understood difference between bravery and courage is as follows:
Bravery is defined as experiencing a lack of fear, mostly temporary. You react to the situation in front of you instictively and without regard to your own safety. Sometimes this situation can be accompanied by a temporary loss of memory of the action you take. After the action is over your awareness of your surroundings returns but you may have no memory of the actions you undertook. This would apear to be an instinctual reaction of fight from the fight or flight reflex in the emotional part of your brain. There are lots of examples in warfare of soldiers reacting in this way. Either to destroy the enemy, or save their comrades, many times without any recollecion of their actions. The example of a mother lifting a car off her trapped child would fit into this category.
Courage, on the other hand, is the decision to act in spite of the fear you exprience. When you are courageous, you understand the consequences of your planned actions. You use it to push you to overcome your fear and you take action, even in the face of personal danger. You weigh up the choices facing you and you make a conscious decision, which you believe is for the greater good and is in line with your core values.
For example, when firefighters come to a fire, they assess the dangers to their personel before they enter the burning building. Many rescue situations are assessed before action is taken, to evaluate the most prudent course of action.
An example of Bravery vs Courage.
I dont believe anyone can deny it takes great skill, courage and dedication to compete in any sport at world championship or olympic level. However on the world stage, there is very little difference in these attributes between the athletes. I have found in my dealings with top athletes, they generally have feelings of inadequacy when they compare themselves with their peers. The dont really believe that they deserve to be on the world stage.
I have worked with several clients who compete at these levels in various martial arts. We achieved great success when I developed a hypnosis technique to trigger them into bravery, rather than being courageous, to perform. Most of the athletes who went through this programme reported loss of time when they were actually competing. We triggered their bravery and they went on to compete at a higher level of intensity than they had before. This resulted in podium finishes and world championship medals for some.
I would record their performances for later review and on most occasions there were no recollections by the athletes of their performance. They triggered into an instinctive automatic mode of action.
Frequently Asked Questions: What is Courage? Does a Courageous Definition Extend to Bravery?
Q. What is the definition of courage?
A. Courage is the ability and willingness to confront fear, danger, pain, or uncertainty. To take bold, courageous action even in the face of adversity. It is mental or moral strength that enables you to persevere and endure hardships without fear.
Q. How does courage differ from bravery?
A. Courage and bravery are often used interchangeably. However, there is a subtle difference between the two. Bravery refers to the quality of the mind that allows someone to face danger or endure hardship without fear. On the other hand, courage involves the moral strength to venture into risky situations for the greater good in spite of fear.
Q. What is the difference between courage, bravery, and fortitude?
A. Courage, bravery, and fortitude are related concepts but have distinct characteristics. Courage is the ability to confront fear and take action despite it. Bravery is about facing danger without fear, and fortitude is the strength to endure difficult situations with resilience and perseverance.
Q. How does being courageous extend to moral courage and physical courage?
A. Courage can be divided into moral courage and physical courage. Moral courage is the willingness to stand up for one’s principles and values, even if it means putting oneself at personal risk. Physical courage, on the other hand, is the bravery to take action in the face of physical danger or hardship.
Q. According to Aristotle, is courage simply one of the virtues?
A. According to Aristotle, courage is not simply one of the virtues but is considered the “form of every virtue at the testing point.” It is the virtue that enables individuals to act bravely and virtuously in many situations, even in the worst-case scenarios.
Q. How does courage differ from heroism?
A. Courage involves the willingness to confront fear and take action, while heroism refers to brave and noble acts that are beneficial to society or others. Heroism may result from acts of courage, but not all courageous actions may be deemed heroic.
Q. Can you provide examples of courageous people from history?
A. Some examples of courageous individuals from history include Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, and Nelson Mandela, who demonstrated moral courage in their fight against injustice and oppression. Firefighters, elected officials, and many others also exhibit courage in their respective domains.
Q. Is there a difference between courage and social courage?
A. There is a difference between courage and social courage. While courage, in general, involves the willingness to confront fear and take action, social courage specifically relates to the willingness to confront social pressures, norms, or injustices for the greater good.
Q. How can one develop courage in their personal life?
A. Developing courage takes time and conscious effort. One can work on building courage by facing fears, looking to develop a well-developed moral character, and being mindful of the virtues they wish to embody. It involves being willing to confront difficult situations and take action when needed.
Q. Is courageousness the absence of fear?
A. Courage is not the absence of fear. Rather, it is the ability to act in the presence of fear, showing emotional strength and resilience even when faced with challenging circumstances.
Q. Can you provide a courage definition from a dictionary?
A. Certainly! Merriam-Webster defines courage as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.”
Q. How does courage differ from impulsiveness?
A. Courage involves deliberation and a willingness to confront fears or challenges thoughtfully. Impulsiveness, on the other hand, refers to acting without careful consideration, often without regard for potential risks or consequences.
Q. Can courage be exhibited in everyday life situations, or is it reserved for extraordinary circumstances?
A. Courage can be exhibited in both extraordinary circumstances and everyday life situations. It can manifest in small acts, such as standing up for one’s beliefs, speaking out against injustice, or taking personal risks to help others.
Q. Is courage a virtue that everyone can attain?
A. Courage is considered a virtue that everyone can attain with effort and conscious practice. It is a quality of the mind and can be cultivated by looking to develop your character and personal strength.
Q. How does courage relate to individuality?
A. Courage can be linked to individuality, as it involves the willingness to stand up for one’s principles and values, even if they go against the crowd or societal norms.
Q. Is there a connection between courageousness and cowardice?
A. Courageousness and cowardice are two contrasting traits. Courageousness is the willingness to confront fear and take action, while cowardice is characterized by running away from fear or challenges.
Q. Can courage be demonstrated in an organizational setting, such as the workplace?
A. Courage can be demonstrated in an organizational setting, such as the workplace. It may involve employees speaking up about important issues, taking risks to improve the organization, or making difficult decisions that benefit the greater good.
Q. What role does courage play in personal growth and development?
A. Courage plays a crucial role in personal growth and development. It pushesyou to step outside your comfort zones, face challenges, and take risks. It helps you learn and adapt, fostering resilience and perseverance.
Q. Can you provide an example of a courageous act in a dangerous situation?
A. Certainly! A firefighter running into a burning building to save lives demonstrates a courageous act in a dangerous situation, showing physical courage and a commitment to the greater good.
Last Thoughts on Differences Between Courage and Bravery.
When you find your courage, you allow the opportunity for new beginnings. You allow yourself to make new choices, with the possibility for the new way to be better than the past.
Although there are no guarantees in life, making conscious choices is preferable to dragging yourself forward by unconscious choice and chance.
In this way, you start to take ownership and responsibility for your life. You start to become your higher self and reduce your ego to a store of reference to the past, rather than the driving force in your life.
Your past no longer has meaning. or relevance to the present, if you decide that is the way you want it to be. You let go of previous experience and no longer allow it to influence the path you decide to follow.
It is interesting that fear and excitement are, at their root, the same. The chemistry in your body and brain is exactly the same. Whether you experience it as fear or excited anticipation is your choice.
Your courage allows you to experience that wonderful excited anticipation of the possibility of your life filled with joy, gratitude and love instead of fear.
Initially you may feel pangs of fear, but once you remember your courage; you will be off to the races. Your divine higher-self shines through and you become your purpose, you become the light of creation as you are meant to be.
Please Share Your Thoughts and Comments.
Please share your thoughts and any positive comments you may have about courage. The author would love to hear your experiences and stories about courage. Perhaps your contribution will lead to others finding it within themselves and allow them to move to a better life.
With love as always.
Richard H Morris.
Nothing in this post should be interpreted as any form of professional advice. The content herein is provided for information and entertainment purposes only, and merely reflects the research done and opinions expressed by the Author. We do make use of affiliate links in our content, should you decide to buy something through one of our links we will receive a commission at no additional cost to the Purchaser.