Courage isn’t always found in grand gestures, and it doesn’t have to be about life and death situations. For most of us, any decision with the potential to affect our everyday lives can take a certain amount of courage, sometimes even all the courage we have. For instance; a friend and co-worker recently put in her formal notice of resignation with our employer, and it seems to me that the act of pushing the SEND button on that email would have required significant courage.
Change is almost always scary, regardless of the perceived outcome of the change. Considering that most adults spend the vast majority of their waking lives at work, a change in that space can be fraught with anxiety and fear. Even the most well-thought-out decision means stepping out into the unknown, away from familiar surroundings and (hopefully) friendly faces. So why do we risk these drastic life changes? Is a nicer office, more money, or a step up the career ladder really worth the emotional turmoil?
Fear of the unknown is a powerful force in our lives, as so, to a degree, is fear of failure. The decision to move on to something new can be made even more difficult when one is faced with leaving a position of security, where their work is respected and they are seen as successful. Along with both of these is the fear of how others will perceive us. What will our friends, family and co-workers think of our decision? These are all fears that must be faced, even in the best of scenarios when one is considering changing jobs, and overcoming the inertia created by these fears can be no small feat.
What then did it take to hit the SEND button on that email last week? Courage, fortitude, and faith that she was making a decision that would increase her personal happiness and enrich her life. Is that kind of positive outcome a guarantee? Of course not, and therein lies the need for courage. By being willing to embrace change, by moving past her fears in that 20 seconds of courage, my friend opened a new door for herself, creating potential, and moving past fear.