January 15, 2011 by Beth Hess


If you read my previous post, you know I have adopted Courage as my focus word for 2011 after being inspired by Ali Edward’s One Little Word challenge. I think Courage fits nicely with my quest to live a wholehearted life. What is more courageous than learning to be yourself?

I, like Ali, believe you don’t really find the right word; the right focus word finds  you. I’ve been chewing on the idea of courage for a few weeks now. Inspired by the charge to have more “courageous conversations” in my business; learning that courage is one of the Gifts of Imperfection; even discovering I had already blogged about courage before officially declaring this my 2011 word.

In Gifts of Imperfection, Brene’ Brown quotes theologian Mary Daly, “Courage. You get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.”

Here are some other quotes on courage that inspire me.

  • Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage. (Maya Angelou)
  • Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. (Winston Churchill)
  • Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts. (John Wooden)
  • If you only do what you know you can do, you never do very much. (Unknown)
  • Courage is knowing what not to fear. (Plato)
  • Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway. (Dr. Robert Anthony)
  • Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” (Mary Anne Radmacher)

I am especially moved by the thoughts of courage as quiet strength. Brene’ Brown calls this Ordinary Courage — not flashy heroics but everyday acts of stretching myself a little more than I did yesterday. The courage to try something new. The courage to speak up (or bite my tongue). The courage to acknowledge I don’t do everything perfectly. The courage to be OK with the imperfection. The courage to open my heart and mind to wherever focusing on Courage may take me this year.

2 thoughts on “Courage

  1. […] This is the 4th Year I’ve adopted One Word for the year. You can link to others below: 2013: Empty & Full 2012: Float 2011: Courage […]


  2. […] 2011, my word was Courage. And my year was very much about that. Taking action and moving myself forward. Getting done with […]


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