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James Spears is the author of 7 Virtues for Success and Happiness. He has a Masters degree in Oriental medicine, acupuncture and herbal medicine. Addi...

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The Triad of Courage

Courage is one of the most fundamental virtues for developing in our inner life, as it allows us to live fully and accomplish our purposes in the world.  Courage is what enables us to move through our fears and achieve our aims with determination. Without courage our lives can become restricted and confined by fear. Courage is defined as the ability to do something, even though we feel fear, and courage requires determination to move through our fears to accomplish our aims.  

Courage is also connected to our core strengths and self-confidence, and together form what I call the Triad of Courage.   



These three qualities are closely related and work in unison to fortify one another.  We can’t have courage without strength, and vice a versa, strength cannot exist without courage.  Similarly, neither courage or strength can exist without self-confidence. 

Strengths in this context refers to the things that we are good at and include our natural abilities and traits.  There are intellectual strengths, emotional strengths, social strengths, moral strengths, and physical strengths.  When we know our strengths and develop them, it forms a foundation for courageous and successful living.   

Self-confidence is the belief or feeling that we can do or accomplish something.  When we are confident we feel self-assured in our abilities, skills, and qualities.  Having good self-confidence is essential for feeling positive, trusting our abilities, and getting on well in life. 

Strength and confidence together can also be viewed as a foundation for courage, as without either strength or confidence, it is more difficult to be courageous.  By understanding the relationship between these qualities, we can build each of them up within ourselves. 

Suppose that we are starting a new business or career, and at some point feel uncertainty, anxiety, or fear about making the career change.  One might feel a fear of failure, or the fear of not knowing how things will work out.  However, if we are confident in our abilities, and know our strengths, we then have a basis for acting courageously.  Without confidence, doubt can take over and prevent us from accomplishing our aims.  

Doubt, which is the opposite of confidence, can erode our actions and prevent us from being courageous.                                             

Therefore, to act with courage we need to be confident in our abilities and strengths.

Cultivating strength, self-confidence, and courage can occur on many levels.  We can build them physically in our bodies, or we can increase these qualities on a psychological level in our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions.  In a holistic approach to developing courage, we account for the physical, mental, emotional, and social realms of our lives.  

How can you build courage, strength, and confidence in all of these areas of your life? 

With vigor,

James Spears 

Seven Virtues for Success