Curious about women and courage, everyday courage or how to apply courageous leadership--this is the blog for you. No sensational stories, heroism or drama, just the understanding of how to apply courage at work or in your personal life. There is a direct correlation between your success quotient and your courage quotient. What would you do right now if you had "unlimited courage?" Do you have courage?

Why Moms Need to Recognize Their Own Courage to See Their Children’s Courage

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Angela Cortez had an eye-opening experience when she shared with her sixteen-year-old daughter that she had lived on food stamps and sacrificed to achieve her career as a newspaper journalist. Prior to that discussion, Angela felt her daughter really did not understand the depth of their poverty because the child had been too young to remember.

Mother's courage with daughters

Angela came to realize it was an important part of her life that she should share with her daughter, especially at a time when the teen was becoming very materialistic. The girl enjoyed a very nice life and was unaware of the significant sacrifices that had helped provide her comfortable lifestyle.
 
Many mothers forget to share their stories of courage with their children. In this case, Angela’s story demonstrated several aspects of a mother’s courage:
 
•  how to overcome a difficult time achieving a good level of comfort and security (that her daughter now enjoys), 
•  how to be open by providing her daughter with an example of courage, and how she intentionally used it to create a career and climb out of poverty and 
•  how to be vulnerable by sharing in an intimate conversation (or what I refer to as a “courageous conversation”). 
 
Recognizing Teen Profiles in Courage
 
Unfortunately, many moms do not recognize when courage is demonstrated by their children. How can they if they can’t identify it in themselves?
 
I will be the first to admit that I am no lifelong expert on children’s issues; however, I did grow up knowing I had courage. To this day, my mom demonstrates a boatload of courage. While she may be petite, she says, “Don’t let my size fool you.”
 
Below are a few examples children/teenagers may face. How many of these behavior patterns are you able to teach and discuss with your children?
  
•  It takes courage to confront bigotry and get to know someone different from you. Even small acts show character.
•  It takes courage to speak openly about sexual misconduct by staff at your school, such as inappropriate comments, jokes or physical contact. 
•  It takes courage to accept your looks and your beauty image. 
•  It takes courage not to lie or make little cheating changes. (Once you start the lie you have to continue the lie). 
•  It takes courage to question/challenge a teacher’s viewpoint such as global warming, evolution (dissent is difficult at all ages) or negotiate your score on a paper or test.
•  It takes courage to resist temptations particularly if people push you to do something wrong rather than maintain moral conviction.
•  It takes courage to declare your opinion, such as raising your hand when no one else will.
•  It takes courage to stick up for a friend who is being bullied or made fun of.
•  It takes courage to understand suicide whether as a choice or in grief.
•  It takes courage to say “I am sorry” after you have lied or hurt someone.
•  It takes courage to leave a clique that mistreats you.
•  It takes courage to understand that even your mother can get cancer.
•  It takes courage to accept your new stepparent.
•  It takes courage to stand up to a bully or walk away from someone with an imposing attitude.
•  It takes courage to say “no” to a friend who is encouraging a wrong action.
•  It takes courage to not get wrapped up in other people’s opinions and the hook of a superficial world.
•  It takes courage to move away from home, family and friends and head off to college.
•  It takes courage to present in front of the class.
•  It takes courage to cope daily with diabetes or asthma. 
•  It takes courage to ask your dream guy for a date to the prom.
•  It takes courage to believe in and be yourself!
 
In Living Your Yoga, Judith Lasater shares that even a very young child can understand courage. Her five-year-old daughter was “very determined never to be left out when her two older brothers plunged ahead in life. After the boys jumped off the largest rock, she climbed up and jumped, too. When asked where she got the courage when even adults found it daunting to jump off the rock, she replied, ‘I have a girl’s courage.’ ‘What is that?’ I asked. ‘Brave, but not foolish.’ she said.” This is an example of physical courage (versus other facets of courage such as emotional courage, political courage, leadership courage, and personal courage). Hopefully, along with virtues such as patience, honesty, tolerance or humor, you are teaching your children and peers about individual courage. The original definition of the word courage is Old French corage, meaning “heart and spirit.”
 
The best tactic to immerse courage into a child’s life is to start using the word! Many Moms will struggle with this task if they are unable to give themselves permission to claim their courage. Eventually, mere exposure to the word and conscious courage actions such as those defined above, will raise your awareness, and you will find the outcome transforming and renewing (and so will your children).
 

Sandra Ford Walston is known as The Courage Expertand innovator ofStuckThinking™. Featured on thespeaker circuit as witty, provocative, concrete and insightful, she has sparked positive change in the lives of thousands of leaders each year. She found that there is a direct correlation between your success quotient and your courage quotient.

She is the internationally published author of bestseller COURAGE: The Heart and Spirit of Every Woman, the follow-up book to COURAGE,The COURAGE Difference at Work: A Unique Success Guide for Women (formerlySTUCK) and FACE IT! 12 Courageous Actions Bring Success at Work and Beyond. All three books are on based 20 years of original courage research. She is certified in the Enneagram and MBTI® and she is a Newfield Network coach. Please visitwww.sandrawalston.com.

Watch this YouTube:Courageous Leadership

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© Sandra Ford Walston, The Courage Expert

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Sandra Ford Walston, The Courage Expert and innovator of StuckThinking™, is an international speaker and author, human potential consultant, corporate trainer and certified coach. Sandra’s expertise allows her to focus on the tricks and traps of the human condition through recognizing and interpreting courage behaviors and courageous leadership styles.


 


Featured on the speaker circuit as witty, provocative, concrete and insightful, she has sparked positive change in the lives of thousands of leaders each year. Sandra also provides skills-based programs for some of the most respected public and private blue-chip businesses and organizations in the world, such as IBM, Caterpillar, Inc., Institute of Internal Auditors, Hensel Phelps, Wide Open West, Agrium, Inc., Virginia Commonwealth University, Xanterra Parks & Resorts®, Procter and Gamble, Hitachi Consulting, US Bank, Healthcare Association of New York State, Institute of Management Accountants, and Delta Kappa Gamma International Society.


 


The internationally published author of bestseller COURAGE The Heart and Spirit of Every Woman and an honored author selected for Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, Sandra facilitates individuals and groups to discover the power and inspiration of their everyday courage.


 


The COURAGE Difference at Work: A Unique Success Guide for Women, Sandra’s follow-up book to COURAGE, is directed at any woman, regardless of title or credentials, who wishes to grow professionally by introducing courage actions at work. Her third book, FACE IT! 12 Courageous Actions that Bring Success at Work and Beyond confirms that what holds you back on the job is the same as what hinders achievement—the reluctance to face and live a courageous life. Sandra is published in magazines such as Chief Learning Officer, Training & Development, HR Matters, Malaysia, and Strategic Finance.


 


Sandra is a certified Newfield Network coach and certified to administer and interpret the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® along with the Enneagram. She also instructs at the University of Denver.


 


She can be reached at www.sandrawalston.com where she posts a courage blog and courage newsletter.

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