‘Courage Is Not The Absence Of Fear, But Doing What You Believe In, Despite That Fear!’

By Priyanka Gupta, student of PGP in Development Leadership at ISDM:

Recently, while reading an article, I came across a very interesting quote that read – “Think of your life as a house. Can you knock down the walls between the rooms and be the same person in each of them?”

I had read this a few years ago as well – but this time, it had a different meaning for me. All it takes to break down your inner walls and be the same person everywhere is courage.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but doing what you believe in, despite that fear! That’s when magic happens.

In the past 11 weeks of being at ISDM, I have had quite a few ‘Aha!’ moments that left me thinking about my priorities, what’s really important to me, what I stand for and what I deeply believe in.

Courage is one of those things. However, it’s been the hardest thing for me to stand for or embody, especially in the most-challenging situations at most points of my life. But after coming to ISDM and meeting extraordinary people (a few of whom who have already become a part of my story), I have found a space where I can experiment with courage. I can blunder – and yet be given space for some more, without being judged or called out.

I have realised that in the past many years, I have grown immensely because of all the life-altering experiences I have had, the work I have done and the lives I have been a part of.

However, every time I couldn’t do something, I would hear myself say, “Only if I had the courage to…” – not knowing that it was right there.

So what happened that changed things for me?

One evening, as I sat on the college terrace, I thought – “What is the best thing I can do for myself?”

It wasn’t long enough when something within me called out- “Listening!” “I do listen to you,” I replied to that voice.

“Do you really listen? Do you listen deeply?” that voice said.

I paused and took a deep breath. I felt a deep silence around me in the midst of everything noisy.

“What is the most liberating feeling that you have experienced?” the inner voice asked. “Doing what I like to do. Doing what I want to do,” I said.

“How many times have you allowed yourself to really feel the emotion that you are experiencing at that moment?”

“Almost never.”

“Do you tell yourself – ‘Don’t be stupid. Are you crazy?'”

“Almost always,”  I said. “I have to keep my feelings in control to prevent any damage.”

While I was saying this, I wondered why I do not allow myself be. How different would my life if I let myself be?!

A little more curious and a little confused as I got up to leave, it called out and said, “This comes with a price. Are you ready to pay?”

Something happened. Something shifted. Something had changed.

I knew the answer. I smiled and left!

Courage is not a show

Of bravery, of power, of bow and arrow

Courage is not a tact,

Of kindness to self, courage is an act

Courage is not fear’s absence

But moving on despite its presence

Courage is believing

Courage is doing

Courage is being!


Featured image used for representative purposes only.

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