10 Elements of Courage
People with courage possess ten shared characteristics. They should remain as guideposts in your journey through life:
Self-confidence. Courageous people believe in themselves. They know who they are and what they stand for. They have strong values, recognize their personal capabilities, and are confident in meeting the challenges that lie before them. Courageous people are passionate and purposeful. You can sense courageous people when they walk into a room — they have a bounce in their step, maintain a positive outlook, and are comfortable in their own skin.
Conviction. You always know where courageous people stand. They’re passionate about their beliefs and values and have consistent and predictable behavior. They don’t blindly follow the crowd, waffle in the face of adversity, or change their opinion unless the change is supported by a strong, factual case.
Integrity. Courageous people know the difference between right and wrong. They don’t just talk about honor; they live it every day by following the letter, as well as the spirit, of the law. They are trustworthy, objective, fair, and tolerant, and they stand up against injustice — backing their words with action.
Leadership. Courageous people aren’t deterred by adversity or afraid of what people may think of them. Courageous leaders motivate people with personal charisma, expertise, integrity, and respect rather than by using their position or authority as a crutch. Courageous people are tough, but fair. While they may ask others to achieve the “impossible,” they ask of others only what they’re willing to do themselves.
Compassion. Courageous people put other people’s needs ahead of their own. They know that the Captain must go down with the ship and that being selfless helps to gain the respect of friends and colleagues.
Objectivity. Courageous people understand the importance of trust, honesty, and full disclosure while confronting people who hide behind untruths. They believe that people are willing to make tough decisions if the options are presented to them in an open, honest, and objective manner. They also believe that people should admit their mistakes, learn from them, and move on rather than waste precious time playing politics.
Strength in Adversity. Courageous people aren’t afraid of swimming against the tide or challenging the status quo. They stare adversity in the eye — running toward the problem rather than away from it. They know that saying “no” to one idea may enable them to say “yes” to another, and that old ways of doing things shouldn’t stand in the way of a better solution.
Change Masters. Courageous people step outside their comfort zone to meet the challenges that lie ahead. They know that change is part of life and that some of the greatest advances have been realized by embracing change.
Embrace the Unknown. Courageous people follow their intuition. If information required to make a good decision isn’t available, they follow their instincts.
Action. Courageous people put their money where their mouth is. They know that it’s not enough to talk about doing something — instead, they act.
Do You Possess The 10 Elements of Courage?
This is adapted from Follow Your Conscience: Make a Difference in Your Life & in the Lives of Others By Frank Sonnenberg © 2014 Frank Sonnenberg. All rights reserved.