What Maya Angelou’s Life Can Teach Us About Courage
Dr. Maya Angelou lived a noteworthy life. There is no question that her teachings and way of being positively affected the lives of many people around the world.
In one of her quotes that I treasure, she said: “One isn’t’ necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous or honest.”
Maya Angelou found — or she might say created — the courage to live her potential, full out. She once said she found the courage to be kind and truthful, and pursue her dreams and desires, even as she shook with fear. Her life is a beacon of inspiration.
What greatness is your life calling you to, even if you’re trembling with fear?
- Fear that comes from feeling like a fraud? You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t also feel like they’re about to be found out any second. Positive thinking, regular reality checks and learning to be comfortable with who you are will put an end to feeling like everyone but you always gets it right.
- Fear that’s generated by your internal Border Patrol — those thoughts and feelings that seem like they’re protecting you from hurt and/or failure. They’re actually “keeping you in your place,” locked in a life that doesn’t allow you to realize your true potential?
- Fear that makes you settle rather than giving your unique dreams your best shot. Do you go for the comfortable because you’re too afraid of that lump in your throat? Those lump-in-your-throat moments are signaling that you are at your growing edge. Those are the experiences that make you bigger and better.
- Fear that others will judge you or your ideas harshly? Paying too much attention to other people’s opinions or anticipated reactions is the stuff that stilted dreams and unrealized ambitions are made of.
Like Maya Angelou, you and I can generate the courage to live true to our potential. If we learn to love that lump in our throat, fake it until we make it, and shut out the real and imagined voices of dissent, we can wrestle that beast called FEAR to the ground and begin to uncover the truth of who we really are.
Thank you Maya Angelou.