there is an icicle at the top of the picture with a small drop of water and then a larger drop of water dripping from the icicle.  On the left side of the icicle is the word choice.  On the right side of the icicle and two drops of water, with space between the drops of water, and the words, between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Vicktor Frankl.

Freedom Friday: Making New Choices Takes Courage

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor Frankl)

In-between stimulus and response there is this gap and if we pause and lean in, we have a chance to break our habitual patterns and choose a different way to response.  A different behavior.  A different outcome. But pausing and leaning in takes courage.  Courage is defined in Merriam-Webster dictionary as: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

The root of the word courage is cor—the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage had a very different definition than it does today. Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and, today, courage is more synonymous with being heroic. Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line. (Brene Brown)

Courage is not about feeling better, maintaining a positive attitude, or ignoring the challenges that surround us. Courage is the balm to soothe inner feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and despair. Courage keeps us in touch with the truth of who we are. (Tara Mandala)

Yet courage is not just physical bravery. History books tell colorful tales of social activists, such as Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, who chose to speak out against injustice at great personal risk. Entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs and Walt Disney, who took financial risks to follow their dreams and innovate are like modern-day knights, exemplifying the rewards and public accolades that courage can bring. There are different types of courage, ranging from physical strength and endurance to mental stamina and innovation. (Psychology Today)

Related to the word courage are the words encourage and discourage. Think of the times we have encouraged ourselves or encouraged others. Now think of the times we have discouraged ourselves and discouraged others. There are many buzz words being used today — such as empowerment, challenged, support — used by many professionals, when in reality the operative word is courage, encourage or discourage. Many social institutions can encourage us or discourage us. They can help us be empowered, help us to maintain self-control, help us be self-confident, help us gain courage. (Jayne Leone)

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Will you have the courage to pause, lean in, and choose a different response, or will you choose the same behaviors even if they may not be as effective?

[image description: there is an icicle at the top of the picture with a small drop of water and then a larger drop of water dripping from the icicle.  On the left side of the icicle is the word choice.  On the right side of the icicle and two drops of water, with space between the drops of water, and the words, between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Viktor Frankl.]

there is an icicle at the top of the picture with a small drop of water and then a larger drop of water dripping from the icicle.  On the left side of the icicle is the word choice.  On the right side of the icicle and two drops of water, with space between the drops of water, and the words, between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Vicktor Frankl.