Courage - A Virtue for Better Self-Confidence and Greater Happiness

James Spears

Oct 9, 2018
Virtues are behaviors that show high moral standards, and they represent some of the finest qualities and strengths of humanity. When we cultivate and live by the virtues - happiness is a natural result. The primary virtues that I write about, and of which are recognized in positive psychology are: courage, temperance, justice, humanity, wisdom, transcendence, and diligence. Each of these virtues are also associated with character strengths, and when we cultivate these strengths, we will have the necessary tools for reaching our fullest potentials and living a full and complete life.

Aristotle maintained that virtue is the basis of happiness, and that happiness depends on cultivating virtue, in his words, “he is happy who is in accordance with complete virtue…” Nicomachean Ethics 1101a10

Let’s look deeper into how the virtues create a foundation for happiness. One of the fundamental virtues is courage, and courage is the ability to overcome our fears and move through them with bravery and determination. In this regard, courage is the opposite of fear. When we cultivate courage it gives us both the bravery and conviction to achieve some aim, and when we accomplish our pursuits and goals, fulfillment is a natural result.

Without courage we can remain confined by our fears, anxieties, and self-doubt. Additionally, fear will often combine with self-doubt and create feelings of anxiety, worry, concern, and vulnerability. In practicing mindfulness we can become more aware of how fear plays out in our lives, and how it prevents us from moving forward. To overcome fear, anxiety, and self-doubt, it is essential to develop our natural strengths and build self-confidence.

Courage, strength, and self-confidence form what I call the Triad of Courage, and are the antidotes to overcoming fear and self-doubt.

Triad of Courage.png

In the Triad of Courage we find that courage, strength, and self-confidence are all related, and even support each other. For example, strength and confidence provide a foundation for living more courageously. Similarly, knowing our core strengths and being courageous, helps to build our self-confidence.

Core strengths can be physical, intellectual, emotional, moral, or spiritual. Examples of intellectual strengths are curiosity, critical thinking, open-mindedness, and creativity. Moral strengths include integrity, kindness, social intelligence, discipline, and determination. Spiritual strengths include having faith, gratitude, and appreciating the beauty of life.

By cultivating our strengths we can overcome our fears, weaknesses, and self-doubt, and live with a high degree of self-confidence and courage.

Courage is such an important virtue, that we can consider it a foundation for personal development and spiritual practice. The virtue of courage is essential to living at our optimum, as well as expressing the best of ourself in the service of humanity.

Understanding the other virtues like humanity and wisdom is also important for having a fulfilled life. Our very success and happiness depends on cultivating the virtues and sharing them with others. When we develop the virtues within, we form the basis for having some of the most important life skills that can serve us in our relationships, careers, and family life.

To have more fulfillment and happiness, chose a few virtues and start to cultivate them into your daily life. They will improve your internal feelings, build better relationships with people, and provide you with valuable life skills.

Kind Regards,

Jim Spears, Author of 7 Virtues for Success and Happiness, and 7 Virtues for Transformation and Self-Empowerment.
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Nov 16, 2018
United Kingdom
To discover your virtues on time is a great asset as it will definitely give you the edge to achieve what you set out to do. Using other people's virtues will not get you anywhere and it is like walking on another man's footpath which will not make you discovered.
Dec 26, 2018
The respect of others is so important! What you must understand is that we are all humans. It doesn't matter who someone is, underneath is just a human being. Once you understand that everyone is equal and everyone is just a person, it's easy to stay humble and to treat others as you would yourself. You must change your mindset and understand that no one man is the center of the universe. Remember, always stay humble and treat everyone with sincerity and respect. Treat others how you would want to be treated. The world is so much bigger than ourselves!