What does it mean to have courage? One of my favorite definitions of courage is: “Courage is being yourself everyday in a world that is telling you to be someone else.” Why is it so hard to have this definition of courage? Why is hard to be ourselves and why is the world telling us to be someone else? The world is made up of people who are inflicting their own expectations on others because they don’t realize or don’t want to face that they are responsible for setting and meeting their own expectations. It is easier to push that responsibility onto someone else and then place blame when those expectations are not met.
People often look to friends, family, coworkers, and spouses to make them happy, make them feel valued or worthy, or feel fulfilled. But that is not how people become happy, valued, or fulfilled. All of those things come from within. If expectations are to be set by anyone, they should be set by yourself because you are the only one who can deliver and meet those expectations. Whenever you set or place expectations on someone else, you will always be disappointed. Learn how to make yourself happy, how to make yourself feel valued and what you can do to feel fulfilled.
So how does this relate to courage. Learning to take a hard look at yourself takes courage. To acknowledge and accept not only the good things about yourself but also the bad things takes courage. To take responsibility for how you want to be seen in the world takes courage. Taking responsibility for your actions and their consequences takes courage. Standing up to people who set expectations on you and telling them that they should be really setting those up for themselves takes courage. Allowing others to be themselves and not placing expectations or blame on them for not being what you need them to be takes courage. We can’t stop others from imposing their expectation on us, but we can stop feeling burdened by those expectations and start feeling courageous being the person we were meant to be. We can feel courageous by accepting people for who they are and recognizing that they add value and show up in our lives the best way they know how. Allow people to be who they are and allow yourself to be who you are. Accept people for their strengths and what they provide, not what you expect them to be. When we all feel that we are in control of our expectations, we have the courage to be who were are meant to be.