This two syllable word might come across as self-explanatory but when we dug deeper we learned that courage is a little more complex than we initially thought. Surface level: courage is doing something that is scary. Deeper meaning: courage is being able to do all kinds of difficult things without being defeated by them. Did you know that, according to the all-knowing Thesaurus, ‘spunk’ is a synonym for courage? Spunk! Can you think of a more fun or energetic word? When we think of the word spunk we think of charisma, fiest, enthusiasm. So yes, while being courageous and doing hard things can be sooo draining (as we all learned first hand, thank you 2020) it doesn’t have to steal our spunk. That might be the most difficult aspect of being courageous, the part where you have to keep on keeping on even after you’ve done something hard or survived something scary. True courage is being able to maintain your sense of humor, your passions, your zeal for life even after overcoming the trial. It’s knowing that you’ll probably face something difficult again in your lifetime but that it’s ok because it won’t break you.

Another thing we learned about courage? That you need it in the most unpredictable times but that you can find it in the most unassuming places. We asked you “how do you find courage?” and were in awe at your answers. Many of you find courage in your children. How beautiful is that sentiment? The most innocent and inexperienced beings inspiring courage and strength in their much older caretakers. There is something about the fearlessness of a child that certainly encourages our own desires to face fears but there is also a sense of power and strength that comes all on its own when we enter parenthood. It’s knowing that there is nothing we wouldn’t or couldn’t do to provide for and protect our little ones. It also goes without saying that as a parent you just end up doing spooky things you would never do otherwise, ever changed a blowout on an airplane? Caught throwup in your hands? Took a toddler to Target during naptime? Parents are some of the bravest people. 

Of course, you don’t need to be a parent to find courage. Many of you answered that you find it deep within yourself, through your faith in a higher power or by purposefully facing fears head on. All of these are perfect places to find courage because truthfully, anywhere you can find more courage is the perfect place. Recently, we’ve faced a lot of fear surrounding our desires to grow our business, serve our community, and love our neighbors. We have tried to find courage as we take bold moves as a company, knowing that we may fall short. We have tried to find courage as we reach out to our customers, knowing that we may say the wrong things. We have tried to find courage as we pick up the phone, knowing that we may feel uncomfortable as we work through a difficult conversation. And yet, we dig deep. We look at our children, we say a quick prayer, and we move full-speed ahead. Standing still does not require courage, but we can’t grow if we’re not willing to stretch and take action. As one of our all-time favorite lady boss role models, Brene Brown, has said, “You can choose courage, or you can choose comfort, but you cannot choose both.”

So with that said, may we all choose courage. Finding it wherever you can and using it to not only overcome and do difficult things but to thrive! Walt Disney said that “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” 2020 showed us that we’re facing a pretty steep learning curve but with some courage we’ll be able to find joy in the journey and be a first hand witness to all of our dreams coming true, because we’ll be the ones making them come true.