Traditionally, people have used the word “courage” when referring to war heroes, police officers, fire fighters and others who put their lives on the line. It is true. They have tremendous courage. Do they feel fear? Yes, and they act anyway.

Perhaps our daily activities aren’t life threatening, yet we must understand, that it takes courage to live. Ordinary people like you and me need courage to get through our daily lives. There are so many things that cause us to feel fear. If we think back on our lives, there were ordinary things, which some people took in stride, that just about caused us to hide in a closet somewhere and never come out, yet we took action anyway. That’s courage!

When I was starting first grade, I would get sick every morning right about the time we were to leave for school. Fear! My mother would let me stay home because I was sick. Then, after several days, she took me to school at noon. Once there, I discovered school wasn’t so bad. In fact, I liked it. That’s when I learned that courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is what we choose to do, even when we are afraid.

Whenever I feel fear, which has been often throughout my life, I think about that first grade experience and remember that when I get to the other side of fear, I’m usually okay. My fears were just things I built up in my mind.

I have had rapid heart palpitations as my plane landed in a foreign country to start a new life, watched my hands shake as I returned to school at 45 and had to find a classroom on a large campus, quaked in my shoes with stage fright when I’ve had to do speeches, and suffered from stomach aches when I left my secure job to start my own training company. Yet, each of these experiences became steppingstones on my path to success.

My sister used to say, “Don’t let your feelings control you. Learn to control your feelings.” While I still haven’t learned to control my feelings, I have learned we don’t have to be pushed around by our feelings. We can take action. We can feel depressed, and still vacuum the floor. We can feel sad and still do the grocery shopping. We can feel homesick and still choose to go out with friends and enjoy our new surroundings.

There’s nothing we need to do to get courage. Actually, there’s nothing we can do. It’s not something we learn. We already have it. We just need to evaluate the fear, decide on the appropriate action, do it, and as we act, we discover the courage is there. The more we act, the more it shows up.

Think about your own life. I bet you can recall many times when you felt fear and still did what needed doing. See, you had the ability to make choices no matter what you felt. That’s Courage!

Author's Bio: 

Judi Moreo is an author, speaker, and life coach. She has written 11 books including “You Are More Than Enough: Every Woman’s Guide to Purpose, Passion, and Power.” Judi can be reached at or go directly to her website by going to