Courage is one of the most important qualities of a leader.
You can’t tell the truth without it.
You can’t love.
You can’t express yourself.
You can’t trust and you can’t question.
Courage comes first and then everything follows.
Courage is being comfortable with the uncomfortable, the unexpected and the unknown.
The only way to build courage is by facing fears.
When someone is scared of say “elevators”. The psychologists will suggest that they starts to inch their way towards the elevator door. Maybe the first day the patient takes a few steps from the door. The next day the poke a foot inside. They continue to face their fear until they realize that the elevator is no threat to them. Eventually they get in and the fear dissipates. Exposure is the only way to build up courage.
Courage is the opposite of fear.
The most courageous people see fear as an indicator of the right way – a stepping stone in the right direction (see Ryan Holiday’s book on this).
From a very young age we live under fear and are told to wear a a beautiful mask. To follow the rules, to be safe and to shut up. It’s easy to put the mask on but taking the mask off is terrifying.
In this society the biggest fear in the world is the fear of the opinions of others.
It’s like getting naked.
We think “Will they judged me? Will they stop loving or respecting me? or will they leave me in my loneliness?”
Being yourself takes courage.
In this world I believe the best way to teach kids leadership is to let them be.
To stop conforming them to an unknown future and allow them to be themselves.
I don’t teach her to be a leader, I allow her to be herself.
(photo credit: Urban Bent Studio)
Also published on Medium.