We can think of courage as the ultimate sign of strength or bravery, but the truth is that this trait encompasses so much more. It doesn't just have to be facing down danger or adversity—courage can also mean having the power and determination to stay true to yourself and pursue your dreams, no matter how hard it feels. This kind of bravery, although understated, is truly inspiring and often all-too-overlooked.
Though it may not always feel like it, you may already be a more courageous person than you realize. Here are seven signs you may be putting on a courageous front, even if you don't recognize it:
1. You push through difficult moments. When faced with a brick wall, most people turn around and run the other way. First of all, you thank yourself for being courageous enough to take charge and hanging in there, no matter what. Even though processing the feeling of defeat may be hard and exhausting, you keep going and never give up—an amazing quality in anyone.
2. You're willing to accept positive change. One of the toughest challenges out there is when you recognize it's time to make an adjustment and move on. Whether it's life-altering changes or small adjustments, that show courage when pushed beyond your comfort zone.
3. You practice vulnerability. Having the courage to open yourself to those around you, is an act of bravery in and of itself. Being able to admit that you don't know something or asking for help, means you are willing to take risks and accept help from others.
4. You take responsibility for your actions. People who embrace responsibility face situations unafraid of the repercussions so they can be honest about their choices. It's a quality that makes us stand head and shoulders above the rest—even when there are tough consequences.
5. You’re ready to take chances. Taking risks and realistically assessing the probability of success, can be an intimidating process. But showing courage and taking chances is a trait that will set you apart from the crowd and make you stand out.
6. You are optimistic, no matter what. Whether it's staying positive during difficult times or maintaining your sense of purpose in difficult circumstances, believing in and fighting for what's possible builds confidence and determination--a truly courageous quality!
7. You forgive yourself and others. Everyone makes mistakes, and the level of courage it takes to own up to it and making amends deserves respect. Accepting mistakes and having the courage to apologize shows tremendous growth, self-knowledge, and a capacity for understanding, which in itself is a beautiful act of courage.
Even though we may not always feel our strongest, having even a small amount of grit and tenacity is an inspiring thing. Don't forget to remind yourself about how wise, brave, and inspiring you are—you already possess the courage inside of you, and you shouldn't be afraid to show it.