Ordinary Courage

Ordinary Courage

Ordinary Courage

The following is from Brene Brown’s “The Gifts of Imperfection.”  I am reading it for a third time right now.  Thought this passage might speak to some of you:

After interviewing people about the truths of their lives– their strengths and their struggles– I realized that courage is one of the most important qualities that Wholehearted people have in common.  And not just any kind of courage; I found that Wholeheartedness requires ordinary courage.  Here’s what I mean…

The root of the word courage is cor– the Latin word for heart.  In one of its earliest forms, the word courage had a very different definition than it does today.  Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”  Over time this definition has changed, and, today, courage is more synonymous with being heroic.  Heroics is important and we certainly need heroes, but I think we’ve lost touch with the idea that speaking honestly and openly about who we are, about what we’re feeling, and about our experiences (good and bad) is the definition of courage.  Heroics is often about putting our life on the line.  Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line.  In today’s world, that’s pretty extraordinary.

Let’s all vow to put our vulnerability on the line today.  Just watch what transpires and shifts for you.

For more from Brene Brown, you can view her blog Ordinary Courage.  I highly recommend reading her older posts and watching her video on vulnerability.


Elizabeth Delaney