What is Emotional Courage?

Emotional Courage is the foundation of spiritual growth and development.

Individuals who have acted courageously have left their mark in the history books. People who were willing to stand and fight for a cause greater than themselves, are the people that changed the course of history and the world as we know it. These people do not necessarily belong to any particular race or gender and they aren’t necessarily always rich or poor. What they do have in common though is an unceasing commitment to follow their own inner truth regardless of the consequences. This unceasing commitment is what I like to call living from a place of emotional courage.


Courage in the physical sense is putting your body on the line in the face of fear and physical threats. Emotional courage is your ability to put your ego on the line in the face of fear relating to threats to your comfortable beliefs, habits and past conditioning. Embodying emotional courage is about being willing to step into your vulnerabilities and follow your inner truths in the face of emotional adversity.

Emotional courage can look very different from one person to the next, but it has many qualities that define it. Here is a list of what emotional courage can look like in action:

  • Being true to yourself regardless of what other people think
  • Being willing to go out of your comfort zone and challenge your comfortable habits and beliefs
  • Not shutting yourself off from the struggles of others
  • Having a difficult conversation even though you don’t know the outcome
  • Making hard decisions when either option is not going to be easy
  • Putting yourself out there for that new job or relationship even when you fear being rejected
  • Being willing to fully embrace and step into the challenges in your life
  • Being able to sit in and face uncomfortable emotions
  • Being willing to let go of the stories and beliefs that no longer serve you
  • Not judging someone in a situation where you normally would
  • Not judging yourself in a situation when you normally would
  • Being honest with yourself about how you really feel about something
  • Being honest with others about how you truly feel about something
  • Being true to your values even when it is inconvenient
  • Letting people see you even when you’re not your best self
  • Letting down your guard in places where you don’t need to have it up
  • Letting people in emotionally even when its hard too

These are just some examples of what emotional courage can look like in action, but everybody has unique examples in their life where emotional courage is necessary. Actively practicing emotional courage, in your day to day life, is one of the most powerful spiritual practices you can engage in. It has the power to radically transform your life from the inside out if you are willing to feel the vulnerability and do it anyway.

One of my own personal stories about emotional courage happened about 9 years ago after my younger brother died in a car accident. I was presenting a speech for toast masters that was on the topic of life and death. As I was still trying to process the grief that I felt from my brother’s sudden and unexpected death, I wrote my speech. Up until that point, whenever I did a speech, I would always stand up with notes in my hands in case I got stuck. On the night of my presentation, I realised when I got to the venue that I had forgotten my notes. Immediately my fear kicked in and I panicked trying to think of ways I could get around doing the speech that night. Then something unexpected happened, I heard my inner voice of courage say: “Do it anyway” and upon hearing this I made the decision to do the speech without notes. Although I was terrified, I got up and presented the speech for the first time without notes and I got a standing ovation. It was one of the most liberating and empowering experiences of my life and it gave me a confidence in my ability to speak in front of people that was beyond words. I then went on to present the speech at my first speaking competition which, much to my surprise, I won and I did it all without notes!

Emotional courage takes many different forms in different situations in life, but if you just allow yourself to hear your inner voice of emotional courage you will be surprised and amazed at what can happen when you take its advice. Take the time to write your own list of situations in your life where you could practice emotional courage and make it a daily ritual. What does emotional courage look like for you? How will being emotionally courageous transform your life?

I look forwards to hearing your stories of emotional courage! Share them in the comments below…

Join me in my next Introductory or Advanced workshop and discover your emotional courage. Let the horses and I guide you on this journey of self-discovery.

One Response to “What is Emotional Courage?

  • Brad Thomas
    5 years ago

    Thank you for this information! I need it very dearly.

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