Courage When Under Fire

On your mark…

Get set…


The siren sounds and I’m off, using every ounce of my physical energy, my mental focus providing clarity for this moment, adrenalin coursing through me. Pain hits; fear digs deep and anxiety takes over from adrenalin for a blinding moment. Somehow, someway my focus realigns and my energy sparks again as I cross the finish line.

It is now less than twelve months till the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and already we are seeing aspiring athletes and seasoned “Games” campaigners on television. Each of them working hard, honing their skills, mind and bodies preparing for their moment to compete.

Professionals just like athletes prepare themselves for careers whether it is a client appointment or a keynote presentation or in a swimming pool or on a running track; it all takes the will to achieve. Our will to excel and our curiosity to test our limits exists no matter what it is that we do.

Courage when under fire is that moment when adversity looks to have consumed you with fear but you double down and from deep inside you push through and deliver your best.

Having the choice, the willingness to face our fears and have courage to do what we most fear can mean different things to everyone. Intuitively, we think of someone fighting to defend us or a marathon runner who with their last measure of strength stumbles across the finish line as courageous. Their bravery is no different to you or me meeting our fears and finding the courage to rise to the challenge. Sure, the situation may be far more extreme but unless we test ourselves, push our comfort zones we will never really know what we are capable of.

In the last eleven years of working in my business there have been countless occasions where I have had to walk into situations and rely on my shear grit and courage to get me through. I’m sure that many business owners have had that experience.

All of this got me thinking. Is there a process to tapping into courage when you need it or is courage an outcome from “pluckiness” to face your fears when tested?

Here are six different ways you could define courage:

1.    Feeling fear yet choosing to act – There can be no courage without fear. How else can you know that you are scared? Choose to act anyway.

2.    Following your heart – Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition to achieve extraordinary things even though you risk pain, separation or loss.

3.    Persevering in the face of adversity – Strengthening our resolve to melt obstacles away and go on despite adversity.

4.    Standing up for what is right – Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes. Sometimes standing up to negative situations is more important than defeating it.

5.    Facing fear with dignity – In the wise words of Aristotle, “The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.”

6.    Expanding your horizons – Let go of the familiar to push beyond your comfort zones.

We often underestimate how courageous we can be until we are presented with a situation that may fall into one of the above categories. Here are some tips on finding your courage:

·      Revive your will

·      Reunite your will with your energy

·      Repair your confidence from pain or suffering

·      Restore your commitment to overcome adversity

There you go, you’ve found your courage when under fire.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” Mary Anne Radmacher.

Remember, with courage anything is possible. As a professional, being courageous can begin with taking the first steps to starting up your own business or to stepping into the digital world of social media. You don’t have to be a hero or heroine to be courageous; you just have to be you.

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