5 Signs You Have Courage

You experience the fear emotion in the face of perceived threat, pain, or danger. Your fear either cripples you or causes you to dig deep and emerge with courage: the ability to do something in the face of pain or perceived threat. How do you know if you’ve got it?


  1. You tried something new

Unknown territory can feel scary. New partner, new baby, new company, new home, new friends, new habits, new workout plans, and so on. But, The New, with all of its challenges, is good for you. The New forces you to press on and find a way to leap over that different hurdle, to roll with the punches. You have courage if you were scared of The New and tried it anyway.

  1. You got naked

Figuratively speaking! You have a willingness to be honest with yourself and others. You vulnerably admit when you made a mistake. You own up to past behaviors that may have led you down a path that you later discovered was wrong for you. You accept your feelings instead of fight against them. When you have candid conversations with people in your life, it creates close interpersonal relationships and demonstrates your courage.


  1. You demonstrate self-care

This is for the people pleasers, who often hear a voice from within saying things like: “What if they don’t like me if I do this? What will people think if I change my mind about this?” For those of you who have people pleasing tendencies and often make a decision based on the sole fact that you know your action will garner approval from others, making a choice that is in the best interest of your health and well-being (even if it is met with disapproval) takes guts. Love is the antidote to fear. Even if it’s self love.


  1. You got lost/ hurt/failed and tried again

Two and a half months ago I did the following “warm-up” in just over 12 minutes:

21 pull-ups, 42 dips, 21 push-ups

16 pull-ups, 32 dips, 16 push-ups

11 pull-ups, 22 dips, 11 push-ups

I gasped for breath and took breaks in-between reps as my heart raced. My trainer had to hold my feet for all of the pull-ups. “I can’t do this!” I thought a few times. Last night, 3 months later I did the same routine in 5 minutes and 3 seconds. In the book A Season on the Mat: Dan Gable and the Pursuit of Perfection, on the rare occasions when the team lost, it makes them that much hungrier for the win next time.  This principle applies not only to fitness and sports, but also relationships. You have courage if you have experienced hurt before and open yourself up to trusting someone again.

  1. You look back and think winner

Reflection can be a powerful daily habit. Think about the chapters of your life. What were some of your best triumphs? They might have been preempted by a time when you were scared and had to gather up your courage to move forward. And when you did, you won! Remember what you are made of when new trials abound.









Courage Image credits:

Courage Kristy Johnson Secret of Life and Believe BK Hang glider Wendy Pitts Reeves

Kelly Christiansen

A top columnist at MsCareerGirl, marketing guru Kelly Christiansen has 10+ years of strategic leadership experience and is a Senior Marketing Strategist on the Health Care team at Kahler Slater, an architecture firm in Wisconsin. An avid reader, runner, and recipe experimenter, you can follow Kelly on twitter @kellymc247

You may also like...