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 from the pack or standing up to a bully. Instead, a strong purpose creates a solid foundation for girls to navigate upon.
Courage co-signs purposes that are internally motivated and align with girls’ moral convictions. When this happens, ***Flawless is put on pause, and courage goes looking for its boots to get in Formation.
Be Internally Motivated
External motivations, like attention or praise, can be mercurial and fleeting. For example, if attention is the purpose behind a girl’s decision to dress opposite of conventional expectation, she’ll have to cross her fingers that the stares don’t stop or become unbearably uncomfortable. Once they do, motivation turns into mortification, leaving the girl to deal with what went wrong. On the other hand, the girl wearing unconventional clothing as a way to discover and express her identity is less swayed by anyone’s reaction. This gives her a fair shot at settling into the discomfort that goes with going against the grain. She does it for herself rather than someone else’s commentary or contemplation.
Courage is its own reward; therefore, external motivations don’t bring it to the battlefield.
Getting clear about morals and values can also help girls strengthen their cause for action. A girl who repeatedly witnesses the humiliation of another student because of the student’s heavy foreign accent may be called to action if she has identified fairness and respect as personal values to live out. Courage likes to ride shotgun in these instances. Standing up for the student involves several risks, including retaliation from the bully, isolation from other students, and even frustration from the ridiculed student for calling attention to the issue. Having strong values, however, can help the girl see past risks, act consistently with her values, and raise her voice.
Girls can and should take time to write down values they admire and possess. When girls don’t have clear values to anchor their purpose for action, they will likely find themselves operating out of fear.
Courage has never minded putting up a good fight against fear and doubt when worthy and right causes are identified. If a purpose is rooted in external motivation or selfish desires, girls will have a hard time getting courage off the couch.