How Do You Exhibit Courage in your Life?

September 21, 2014 4:14 pm

Is it as hard for you as it is for me to realize the summer is over? At least the flurry of Fall activities also comes with the changing color of leaves, cool weather, and knowing the holidays are around the corner… one of my favorite times of the year.

For this post, I’d like to focus on the quality of courage as I believe it underpins many of Beacon’s corporate core values. Courage is defined as the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. I think a critical part of the definition is the word “confront” as opposed to run away or turn your back. It’s interesting that one of the definitions of courage I found defined it as confronting difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear. Now I don’t agree with that definition. I don’t think that it’s possible to face certain situations in life without fear, but facing them despite fear, now that is courage.

I can guarantee that every one of us has courage. I can say that because I know that if someone or something endangered our children or grandchildren, there would be no moment of doubt. There would be no hesitation around risk analysis. Only later would we even realize what happened. This however, probably starts to cross the line of protective instincts (almost involuntary) so let’s look at courage beyond that.

Courage gets a little more challenging when it’s about us and the world we influence. Examples would be taking a risk to start a new business, tough love when it comes to our children, standing up for what we believe, and attempting something where we are unsure of ourselves. Sometimes, even allowing things to unfold at their natural pace takes courage instead of trying to force a solution just so we can have control. And, of course, there are the many situations where people face health issues. I’m sure we’ve all seen examples of those who do so with incredible courage.

In thinking for a moment about our company’s core values: People, Integrity, Service, Collaboration, High Expectations, and Commitment to Excellence, the latter two—High Expectations and Commitment to Excellence—both require us to be accountable to ourselves…it really has little to do with accountability to others because for us to live these values, that drive must come from within, not without. The same goes for Integrity because it requires us to be consistently who we are no matter what’s happening around us. This internal drive mandates the courage to see things as they are and not as we want them to be…to see ourselves as we are and not as we want to be. Then we adjust to move closer to becoming that person.

I believe I’m drawing on my own courage right now. I’m fairly used to figuring things out and implementing a respectable solution. But as Beacon grows bigger, I find myself not having all the answers, which is somewhat hard for me to face…, to be honest, because I don’t like that place and would prefer to avoid it. I’m in unchartered waters without a map. But, at least my boat is solid.

 To continue with this analogy, if I have never paddled in a Class V rapid, I might not want to figure it out as I go.  I might want to call on others who have been there and successfully made it through, learn from them, and then apply those lessons.  Those lessons mean change…change in the way I paddle and balance….change in the way we do business.   I am facing this need for change with courage, faith and gratitude for the great company I have behind me.Take a moment and think about how you exhibit courage in your life.  It’s a good thing to see that in yourself and appreciate and nurture it.  kayak


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