The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode 118:
Mini: Emotional Courage

What’s the connection between courage and emotional awareness and how does this link to self-worth and who you are?  I started to muse this over and that’s how I arrived at this week’s podcast! 

Listen below or search for The Curious Coach Podcast on Apple podcasts, spotify or wherever else you normally listen to podcasts!

Video Version

Audio Version

Show Notes

Listen below or search for The Curious Coach Podcast on Apple podcasts, spotify or wherever else you normally listen to podcasts!


Hi there and welcome to this week’s episode of The Curious Coach podcast.  This week I’m reflecting on courage as an emotion.  We often think of courage as the ability to take action in the face of being afraid.    Thinking about this a little more, it therefore seems likely that courage can’t exist without fear and without risk.  And at the same time, it also suggests that there must be an upside – some form of reward that comes from being courageous.  

Teasing this out a little further, it’s also clear that courage requires movement or action.  As Nelson Mandela said – “ I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear’. 

Interestingly, from a language perspective, courage originates from the Latin word cor which means heart.   Brené Brown also remind us of this fact when she said that courage originally meant ‘to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart’.   

So courage is really interesting, and complicated.  At one level, there’s courageous action – the hero who rushes into the burning building to rescue someone, risking her own safety in the process, and who gets the reward of being the hero, celebrated by others, and also knowing deep in her heart she did the right thing.   Or a less extreme example, it could be about taking on a project in work, one that you don’t feel completely comfortable with and which could go horribly wrong.  If it fails, then you might risk your reputation, or loose the company money, or get fired – but if it goes right, then you’ll bolster your reputation and maybe get promoted.   

However, thinking about what Brené Brown said and the origins of courage – how it’s about speaking one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.  This suggests a different type of courage.   One that is more about looking inside, connecting with your heart and having the courage to share.  In doing so, you’re allowing yourself to be vulnerable in spite of the fear of how others may judge or react.  And the upside can be massive – not only can it lead to stronger and more trusted relationships but it can also help you become more connected to who you really are.  Your sense of identity.  Your sense of self-worth even.

And before you have can this type of courage, you need to be able to look inside and connect in with your heart.   To have that emotional self-awareness.  With out this – it’s impossible for you to have the courage to express what you truly feel. 

So that’s my challenge for you this week.  In order to have that inner courage, start by looking inside, and connect with who you are and what’s truly within your heart.  Take mindful pauses from everyday action, and bring your attention inward.  Sometimes we’re so busy being courageous with lots of external actions, that we rarely take time to consider this other form of courage.   And if we did, it would be interesting to see how we might revaluate some of what we’re doing and choose a different form of courage.

Anyway, that’s it for this week.  As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please don’t hesitate to drop me an email to [email protected] or leave me a comment on LinkedIn.  Thanks for listening and until next time, don’t forget, Stay Curious.