Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared. Edward Vernon Rickenbacker.
Hmmm...there have been a couple times in my life where I have been lauded for being "brave" for doing things that seemed really more like ... well, living day to day, to me. So I got to thinking what these words mean...and whether having courage and being brave are the same thing. Thanks to trusty old dictionary.com, here you have it:
/ˈkɜrɪdʒ, ˈkʌr-/ Show Spelled[kur-ij, kuhr-] Show IPA
the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
Obsolete . the heart as the source of emotion.
/breɪv/ Show Spelled [breyv] Show IPA adjective, brav·er, brav·est, noun, verb, braved, brav·ing.
possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance.
making a fine appearance.
Archaic . excellent; fine; admirable.
Am I courageous or brave, particularly? I wouldn't say so. Facing my husband's addiction and time away in treatment, I don't think I was "being brave" when I got up and went work and got my kids to school and held things together while parts of my life were in turmoil. To me, there was no choice - I didn't have the luxury of laying down and pulling the blankets over my head. I don't think it was notably brave when I kicked my first husband out and quit my job and moved from Minnesota to Seattle back in 1991. Instead, I'd say I weighed the risks and benefits of my life as it was, versus my life if I changed pretty much everything. I voted for the unknown over the dead-end known in that case, and moved forward.
I would agree that most of the time I certainly have "the courage of my convictions". If I have weighed the options and made a decision and started down a certain path, I normally do it without a lot of self-doubt and fear. Healthy apprehension and concern for where I'm headed, sure, but if I've decided and my gut is at peace, then onward and upward!