Growing up, I didn’t think I was very courageous. One day I saw this quote saying:
Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting despite — because something is important to us.
It made perfect sense! Fear will always be there, which might be a good thing as it forces us to prepare well by doing due diligence.
Conviction is an essential part of courage. I can bring courage because my conviction about the matter is stronger than fear. Twenty-two years ago, when I first came to the US for my grad school, it was the very first time for me to be in a foreign country; it was not easy at all. I did it because I had a strong conviction to explore that I wouldn’t have got otherwise. Within a short period, I had to visit New York City for my internship, which was equally daunting. Well-meaning friends warned me about many things, including not interacting with strangers. One day, I was on the ferry going to Staten Island when a young African American vendor was trying to get my attention. I hesitated to respond as I was advised against it. But then I decided to look at her. She said, “Ma’am, your wallet might fall off from your bag”- Oh my goodness, she saved me from a huge disaster that day. Not only that, but she also taught me something for life; it was about trust. On that trip, courage supported by trust – in self and the universe made it possible for an inexperienced international student like me.
Now 22 years later, I can say courage teamed with conviction and trust can do wonders.
If you are afraid of something, look into your conviction and trust – and courage will follow!