Courage! Do You Have the Courage of Your Convictions?Oct 18, 2022
I have been thinking a lot about courage lately. We are approaching the 8th anniversary of my Mom’s passing and I always get reflective during this time of the year because I really miss her. She was one of the strongest women I know. Many of the lessons that I have learned came from her and her example.
I actually come from a long line of strong women that have been such good role models. My Mom taught me that being consistent and persistent in how you approach work and life is very important. She also had such courage especially during difficult times. No matter what happened, she just kept on going! Even in her battle with cancer she pushed herself until the very last day in order to spend as much time with her family as she could.
There are many times that I doubt my courage and I can still hear her voice telling me that I am strong and courageous so stand tall. Many of the values that she taught me are very visible in how I live my life.
Over the weekend, my husband and I watched a movie named “Radio”. The movie is based on the true story of T. L. Hanna High School football coach Harold Jones and a young man with an intellectual disability, James Robert "Radio" Kennedy. The movie was set in 1976 and Coach Jones was a white football coach and Radio was a young black man.
In a racially divided town, coach Jones spots Radio, a mentally disabled African-American student, near his practice field and is inspired to befriend him. Soon, Radio is Jones' loyal assistant, and principal Daniels happily notes that Radio's self-confidence is skyrocketing. But things start to sour when Jones begins taking guff from fans who feel that his devotion to Radio is getting in the way of the team's quest for a championship.
Coach Jones took quite a special interest in Radio at the risk of losing friends and support in the community. This took an enormous amount of courage and yet it made such a difference in both men’s lives. This story reminds me so much of my Mom and her love for others, especially those that have special needs. She was so compassionate and loving. She NEVER saw the color of someone’s skin but rather she saw one of God’s children. And she loved them in that special way that she had.
Do we have the courage of our convictions? I often ask myself this question because in today’s world it has become especially hard to know when you can speak out and when you should not. One of the things my Mom taught me is there are some things you NEVER compromise on and they all relate to our attitudes toward others.
When we meet people for the first time, what is the first thing we notice about them and what is our reaction to it? I often talk about this to my clients because I really believe it. Each and every one of us is unique with unique gifts, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Just because someone is different from us does not mean that they are “righter” or “wronger”, better or worse, smarter or dumber, only different.
This really helps us take the judgement out of our thoughts about others. When we remove the judgement, we can see things just a little more clearly and objectively. It can broaden our thinking about others and opens us up to a broader group of friends and acquaintances.
There are so many people that just don’t understand or practice this.
Courage is the willingness and ability to speak the truth. It takes courage to stand up for what you believe and your point of view. In the workplace we often will hold back our thoughts.
Do you push back when asked to do something that goes against your values? Do you speak up about injustices in the workplace? Do you set personal boundaries and then vocalize when someone violates those boundaries? Are you honest about unethical or harmful behavior?
It is often difficult to speak up about these things. It takes courage and it also means we have let go of our own insecurities. What I mean is that if it feels uncomfortable, unjust, unethical or harmful, then it probably is. Don’t second guess yourself or let your internal dialogue talk you into being passive about it.
Coach Jones did not think twice about befriending Radio. He saw a person in need of a friend and he became that friend. He had the courage of his convictions and his heart was in the right place.
How often do we face these types of tough decisions? I would say to you that it happens more than we think. The challenge is that we don’t even notice that our thinking immediately goes to the differences as opposed to what we have in common.
If we can have the courage to really look at our own approach to others that are different from us, it can make a big difference in our approach to life. We begin to enrich our existing relationships and to establish new ones that we never thought we would have.
I challenge you to stretch yourself to see the differences in others as an enhancement to your life and to grow your circle of friends, acquaintances, and coworkers to include those that look different from you. Those that speak differently that you. Those that ARE different than you. You will find a fulfillment that you never imagined!
My greatest joy is helping clients become people who lead. My mission is to help people grow into the strong, successful people that I know they can be. My passion is building great talent while building authentic and long-lasting relationships! I also love using my experience as both a corporate executive and an entrepreneur to provide actionable feedback that helps people reach new heights no matter if that is working in the corporate world or as an entrepreneur or as a stay-at-home parent! I start right where you are and we grow from there!
Growing up in a small town, I often found myself wondering if there were more to the world than this. After being given opportunities to lead, I genuinely felt like I was in my element for the first time in my life. I decided it was time to break free of my limitations and become the person I knew I was meant to be—confident to build a career that I had always imagined.
I have had a career signature of being asked by senior corporate leaders such as Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Rick Wagoner to assume advisor-consultant roles with clients and executive teams. I was recruited by The Walt Disney Company to coach executives and worked jointly with their leadership to create career development plans for Disney’s Enterprise IT group.
As a recognized leader and mentor, I hold more than 20 years’ experience building relationships, developing teams, and coaching associates to success.
You can contact me via email at [email protected]
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