In Others’ Words: The Small Steps of Courage

I used to think of courage as this big thing … something that was often beyond me. Or something that I had to wait for … or work up to.

Kind of like: Give me a few more minutes … or a few more hours … or a week or two, and I’ll be courageous.

And then I learned courage can be found in the small things. The try, try, and try agains. The small attempts that, at first, don’t look like very much at all, but add up to not quitting.

Courage can be quiet — the unspoken resolve to go to bed and get up in the morning, knowing that the thing you faced today will still be there, staring you down, tomorrow.

Courage can be tear-soaked — and no less courageous. Weeping doesn’t indicate weakness. No. Tears just means you acknowledge your emotions — you admit that life hurts. And then you don’t quit in the face of the pain.

Courage can be one small step forward — and that’s enough for the day. You may not have gained all that much ground, but you didn’t lose any. And even if all you did was hold your ground, well, that’s an act of bravery too.

You take enough small steps forward and you’ve accomplished a journey. You’ve lived a life of courage.

In Your Words: Where are your steps taking you today? What one step do you need to take today to be courageous?

[Tweet “In Others’ Words: The Smalls Steps of #Courage #InOthersWords #lifequotes “] [Tweet “”Courage is only the accumulation of small steps.” #lifeqouotes #GeorgeKonrad #brave”]



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  1. September 29, 2015, 5:24 am   /  Reply

    Sometimes what’s seem to be courage is just having no other choices. I would hesitate before calling myself brave, or even saying I want to BE brave, because I’d much rather be somewhere else at the moment

    I’m here, and have to do SOME thing, but I don’t know if the specific choices I an making are brave, or are merely the line of least resistance. It would be very easy to be self-serving, or worse express myself in a way that would seek praise from my betters for that courage which is not there.

    Courage is at its heart a choice; I don’t have one.

    • September 29, 2015, 7:34 am   /  Reply

      Andrew, as I read Beth’s post, I thought of you. The reason is because you won’t give up. You take one pain-filled step forward each day. You reach out to people, even in the midst of all you’re going through. You inspire with your words and the way you live your life. You display courage.

      • September 29, 2015, 1:49 pm   /  Reply

        I second what Jeanne said!

    • September 29, 2015, 1:46 pm   /  Reply

      Andrew: I think it’s more that you can’t see that you do have a choice, and you continue to make the right choices … and you continue to persevere.
      You are being brave … courageous. Minute by minute. Step by step.

  2. September 29, 2015, 6:31 am   /  Reply

    I’ve had enough years of experience with and trust in the Lord that life mostly goes forward on a fairly manageable keel so it’s not too often I feel suffocating stress make me want to panic, run, and give up. I saw lots of that in those around me as a child, enough to make me hate that and it and thankfully learn better patterns from reading books and then from the church that opened across the street. Recently though a perfect storm of teaching, writing, hosting, meeting, life deadlines snuck up with days bringing near suffocation and fear again–especially when one major task involves me succeeding in one college course rewrite task that stretches me far beyond anything near a comfort zone. I don’t know that my response is courage as much as a daily decision to take another breath, pray, slog on another day, give it my best and say if things really prove insurmountable I can always give up later but there’s also the chance that by taking steady steps forward each day the massive tests will be reduced to manageable and finally be accomplished. I’m not there yet, but the physical reaction isn’t quite as bad and I’m gaining handholds on how to wrestle the hardest task into shape in daily bits, and leaning on the Lord lots. I’ll also try not to get myself into quite such a demanding perfect storm of due dates of mostly desirable projects again.

    • September 29, 2015, 1:48 pm   /  Reply

      You are choosing to take your tasks one step at a time. You are not quitting.
      And that is courage, Dee — facing a major task that seems daunting. That is daunting.
      And for the record, you are one of the most courageous people I know.

  3. September 29, 2015, 7:36 am   /  Reply

    Sometimes, courage is choosing not to give in to fear. Quitting can seem like the easier option, but it’s the emptying option in most cases. So, today, my step forward is to press into Jesus and press on in the work He’s given me to do.

    • September 29, 2015, 1:49 pm   /  Reply

      Agreed, Jeanne. Agreed.

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