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Courage Keeps Us Moving Forward

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The decision to move forward is a personal decision we are capable of making. Many times it is not the first option we think about. Yet sometimes, it is the only way we can truly succeed.

Thomas Edison said, “Be courageous! I have lived a long time. I have seen history repeat itself again and again. I have seen many depressions in business. Always America has come out stronger and more prosperous. Be as brave as your fathers before you. Have faith! Go forward!”

We tend to fear moving forward. When times are good, we get comfortable. When times are bad, we would like to go back to when times were more comfortable. In reality, the best course of action is always forward regardless if times are good or bad.


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The battle to move forward is within us. It is not an external battle. Courage to change allows us to have a greater tomorrow. For me, I work to win this battle every day. I constantly review habits and routines revealing what to keep, what to drop, and what to change. What is your method to overcome fear and move forward? My friend, John Maxwell, has said there are six people within us that dictate our actions.

    1. Who others think you are
    2. Who you are expected to be
    3. Who you were
    4. Who you wish to be
    5. Who you think you are
    6. Who you really are

As a child, we act without thinking. Then as we mature we try to act as we are expected. We want to fit in. As we get older and hopefully wiser, we begin to think deeper about our actions. We discover that the actions are a reflection of who we are and who we can become. At times, it can be hard to break that bad habit of staying stuck in one place. Usually, the whole reason we’re stuck in that spot is because of procrastination. We all do it and sometimes it can affect our lives in a big way. Jack Klemeyer talked about ways you can stop being unmotivated in order to change your life. What’s the first step?

The first effective step to gaining back your sense of motivation is to figure out the thing or things that sap the energy out of you. It could be a small thing like not waking up in time or a really serious thing like hating everything about your job. No matter what the form, you can identify the things that sap out your energy by their power to make you feel discouraged.

Don’t be afraid to cut that negativity out of your life. Making a change like that also takes a lot of courage. To know and act like how you truly are, you must know yourself and have the courage to be that person. Each step grows our courage. I would venture to guess that about 20% of people live courageously, maybe less. There is no easy measure, but most people are held back by fear – fear of what others might think, fear of the unknown, fear of losing what they have gained, fear of failure, etc.

Living courageously every single day is nearly impossible. I doubt anyone would be able to be that brave! But knowing the edge of your comfort zone, and being able to cross it once a week, or once a month, can lead to authentic personal growth. It is a challenge worth the effort. I accept that I need to do it more often. How often do you act courageously? Could you improve in that area of your life?

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Mark S. Brown
Mark S. Brown is an executive coach who is passionate about personal development. He works to make a difference in people's lives by empowering them with skills and knowledge that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in. Mark has been coached, mentored, and certified by John Maxwell and his team. This coaching certification allows Mark to successfully coach and train individuals, groups, organizations, and companies.
Mark S. Brown


Executive and Business Coach at New Roads Leadership. A founding partner of the John Maxwell Team. We coach for your personal success!
Mark S. Brown
Mark S. Brown

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