Women who have been honored over the past years during Women’s History Month all share one common trait – courage. The courage to try something new, to take a risk for what they believed in, to persist despite obstacles, to make a difference. Do you think of courage mainly in terms of men on the battlefield? The Encarta World English Dictionary defines courage more broadly, as: “the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action.”
Women have shown courage over the years – valor away from the battlefield, as well as on it – in so many different venues. They have had the guts to march for civil rights – theirs and those of other minorities, – they have dared to dismantle the glass ceiling, they have acted heroically protecting the disenfranchised, they have bravely cared for the ill as well as for the needs of their families.
Marty Seligman and Chris Peterson include Courage as one of the 6 categories of character strengths they have classified in their study of Positive Psychology. They identify persistence, integrity and vitality as aspects of courage, in addition to bravery. In your own life, it’s likely you can point to times you have stuck with a plan through difficulties – just like the little engine that could; how you have been honest in your relationships and assessments; the joie de vivre you felt when you were engaged and absorbed in flow. All of these are characteristics of courage you’ve demonstrated, possibly without even recognizing it.
Is there something you’ve wanted to do for a long time – enroll in a class, reconnect with an old friend, run a 5K? Make Women’s History Month the time you take the first step. That’s courageous, in and of itself. We’d like to support and inspire you on your journey. For our new e-book, Courage and Lessons Learned, simply go to the box on the left where you can join our email list and receive the e-book free of charge. You’ll receive an email confirmation and the link to downloading your own copy, in PDF format. Here’s to the courage to begin re-writing your own history this month!