Why we choose courage over comfort

Courage often grows from the choices that we make and the actions that we take every day.

As we recalibrate and adapt to a new normal when human relationships are more important than ever in an asynchronous hybrid work environment, we need to rethink and unlearn old mindsets and methodologies in order to innovate and create value in our workspaces.

Creating Courage

Courage is what calls us to action in tough times by tapping into our core values. And these challenging times often present to us the opportunities to distil our values and implement them through daily action.

Courageous leadership is not gifted to certain individuals by birth – because as the old saying goes, courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.

It’s a fundamental practice that differentiates the most effective leaders from the rest.

When we are willing to choose courage over comfort by speaking the truth, raise an important perspective or observation, even during disagreement from clients or peers, we will gradually push ourselves outside our comfort zones and with time, we will not only expand our courage, but also deepen our impact. 

Leading with courage

Leading with courage begins with vulnerability. We should always lean into hard conversations, be very clear about our core values and live them, practice empathy, consistently hold people accountable, always doing the right thing, constantly building trust and learning to rise after setbacks. 

When we’re courageous, we reach out and speak up, even though we know we might fall. Choosing courage teaches us how to learn from our mistakes, push through the discomfort of failure and become a champion of trusting in yourself and accepting setbacks as springboards to new growth.

Leaning on Brene Brown’s principles, courage is a skill set that can be nurtured in the following key ways:

  1. Learning and living with vulnerability – we need to come to terms with the uncertainty, risks and the myriads of emotions that come from setbacks but knowing that we are still worthy.
  2. Living our core values every day – integrating these values into observable behaviours and holding people accountable for these behaviours. 
  3. Uphold Integrity in every decision and step we take – we must set clear boundaries and respect the boundaries of others. Be reliable in doing what you say. Taking ownership and being accountable. Integrity is about consistency – it is about doing the right thing rather than what is the quickest or easiest solution, even when nobody is watching.
  4. Maintain an environment of psychological safety– we should feel comfortable to ask for help or admit that we don’t have all the right answers, we stay curious and not be judged for it. 
  5. Be transparent – Do not have hidden agendas, always say what you mean and mean what you say. If there is a lack of clarity, a culture of mistrust develops which leads onto a lack of cohesiveness and a guarded culture.
  6. Learning to rise above the occasion – Clarify your doubts before making conclusions, own the story.
  7. Lead from a place of wholeness – in each step or decision we make, always lead from a place of wholeness and truthfulness. No matter what we manage to do or fail to do, we are still worthy and enough.

Let us rise to rebuild this world with more courageous cultures and leaders who will re-humanize work. 

It’s time to lead courageously and get comfy being uncomfortable in this new world. 

At Acuity, we choose courage over comfort in our ethos. Because ordinary ends here.