Courage Over Everything Manifesto

Maya Angelou famously said that “courage is the most important of all the virtues. Without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” Consistently is the key word. Courage is both foundational and foremost to helping an actor consistently choose honesty, tolerance, authenticity, integrity and every other virtue. If Maya’s quote was remixed and made into a manifesto, it’d be called Courage Over Everything and go a little something like this: Courage Over Everything I shall have the courage to say yes and the courage to say no. The courage to tell it like it is and to say it...
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7 Powerful Quotes on Courage from Powerful Black Women

Sometimes, a powerful quote is a perfect antidote to feeling sad, stuck or shaded. These quotes on courage from amazing black women provide a jolt of motivation to keep it moving. Happy International Women’s Day. When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. – Maya Angelou Get over it, and just live a little. – Michelle Obama I believe that...
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Being Courageous Does Not Equal Being Fearless

Is being courageous the same as being fearless? It’s a question I’m asked often, most recently by a 16-year-old attendee at the Guide, Inc youth conference where I spoke. In short, the answer is no.  Here’s the longer answer. Both mantras support growth and adventure and help girls show up in the world with the confidence and passion.   But, mixing up the two would be like confusing Beyoncé and Rihanna. They’re similar, but different. The confusion between the sayings happens when people reduce their meanings down to: don’t let fear stop you. Whether fear is dormant or active, though,...
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3 Rewards For Confronting Fear

There are rewards for confronting fear, even if the confrontation ends with girls stumbling into a corner and sliding into a fetal ball after fear claps back. Sound dramatic? It is, but it’s also how they may envision a confrontation with fear ending.  In the unlikely event this happens, the rewards I’m referring to can be hard for girls to recognize because their focus will be on the failed attempt, their weaknesses, how badly they embarrassed themselves or how improbable rebounding will be.   But.   These intangible blue ribbons are available to girls and everyone else willing to suspend...
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2 Ways For Girls To Strengthen Purpose

Courage want girls to win, but it will not fight every battle. Courage never rushes to lace up its vintage combat boots and meet girls on the frontline of fear for a half-hearted or externally motivated pursuit. It would much rather chill on the sofa watching reruns of Beyoncé at Coachella than show up for girls who find purpose in gaining attention or protecting egos. Courage judiciously joins the sides of girls when their purpose for action is worthy. Why? Because a weak cause is not enough to overcome the fear associated with risky and threatening circumstances, like standing out...
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What does outcome have to do with courage?

Nothing. A high school crush taught me that. I had a ridiculously big crush on James*. Bigger than the ones I had on Keith* and Shawn*. The butterflies in my belly swarmed when I saw him, and the only way to settle them was to turn away. But, I never wanted to miss the smoothness of his steps or the brightness of his smile. James was the tall, dark, beautiful basketball star that every girl in the high school wanted. Including me. I contemplated for weeks about whether to write him a note disclosing my attraction. What if he liked...
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The Courage To Be in 2017

What had a year’s worth of inquisitiveness about courage amounted to? That’s the question I reflected on a few days before the end of 2016. I had a virtual pile of notes about its nature, variables, development and application, and sifting back through it reminded me about the virtue’s complexity and power. Courage has been discussed, debated and researched for over 2,000 years, yet it doesn’t have a universally accepted definition despite it being universally admired. Summoning the virtue can also be a bit of a puzzle, requiring many of its pieces to fall perfectly into place. One of those...
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Commitment: An Important Tool in the Courage Toolbox

I was one click away from buying a round-trip ticket to Ubud, Indonesia. An arduous slow dance with Fear got me to that point. I took one measured step at a time and pushed Fear back at the same pace. But, now, Fear wasn’t so moveable. It sat beside me at my desk, shoulder to shoulder, reiterating with vigor why traveling across the world by myself was a terrible idea. I could get hurt or kidnapped or lost or panicked or homesick or stranded or confused or swindled. Its tone transitioned from authoritative to desperate, but the entire diatribe registered...
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