Saturday 25th June 2022

What Is Courage? 29/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.61.

What Is Courage? 29/52. #LIfeThisWeek. 2018.61.

To answer this question I sought responses from various people and the internet sure does pop up some good ones. Yes, I have read some before. Yes I understand them…now.

No I did not always get why courage was so important.

Surely staying safe and small was best. Then, over the last few years I needed guidance and knowledge to help me gain skills that I am sure became dormant in a body rattled by far too many changes in my life at one.

These photos explain more. I recall taking each of them…and the last one  I had started to feel the courage I needed.


From these quotes I can see there are a number of views on courage. I leave them here for you and after you have scrolled, read or skipped them…my responses, via examples, to What is courage will be below.

I recently saw this quote and it had to be here: It’s from Dr Danny Penman who has written a book called: The Art of Breathing, which I have found very helpful.

What are some personal examples of courage? 

  • Moving away from our family, friends and the known to the unknown to live here on the Central Coast. I paid for this courage with resulting fear and anxiety yet, on reflection, 3 years afterwards it was worth it.


  • Deciding that I could apply for and get a principal’s role in 1998. Before then, I wanted to stay “safe” because that felt best. Yet as I considered my life as it continued, I knew UNLESS I got up the courage to go for roles, I would always regret it. I did get a principal’s position. I did really well in the first three years and then, the fourth year I was brought down by over-work and I had the courage to leave to help me save my mental health.


  • Starting a blog. I know that might not seem courageous to some but for me, a lonely retired educator I was prepared “to put myself out there”. It’s been hard to see some of the external measures of success in blogging by-pass me but look now, a lovely community thanks to this link up has joined in and that has made it worthwhile.


  • Speaking up and telling my father that some of his comments to me over the years have hurt me and I would prefer to have his support, no matter what, than advice that is not sought. I did wait till my mid-60s but I have done it and as a result, there is an adult to adult relationship now. I took the risk and it worked.


  • Insisting, after many sessions of conservative treatment,  that my dentist removed the bridge and attached teeth from my upper gums because of the pain and trouble the area had caused me for the past many months. Getting it done, despite my anxiety being sky-high at the time because I knew the only way was to find what was causing the problem underneath.


  • Being prepared to let go of any real or perceived attempts that I can control other people and their behaviours and this was especially true for my family relationships. I risked not knowing what I thought I needed to know and can accept this as a reality.


  • Determining, after taking some time to convince myself, that my cancer diagnosis, surgeries and treatments were not to harm nor scare me but to help and heal me and once I did that I was/am a more responsive and healing patient.

This list is not the end but an example of some instances that came to mind as I was preparing the post. Each of them starts with a verb. Yes, action is required in courage.

I found this example of my artwork which helped (and continues to help) me move through the often slow, boring and painful times of recovery from the BIG surgery in July 2017. I concur with past me!

A very influential person to help me learn aspects of the courage I could tap into in my latter years is my husband and along with him, my reading and listening to the works of Brene Brown. Her statements on vulnerability hit home!

So, what is courage for you?




Joining with Alicia here for Open Slather.

You can link up something old or new, just come on in. * Please add just ONE post each week! * Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not. * Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right! * Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 30/52. Share Your Snaps 6.  23/7/18.



  1. You have some great quotes, Denyse. I like the third quote. Thanks, for sharing your personal examples of courage.

  2. Courage is something you have in spades, Denyse. For me, courage is not giving up even when you feel hopeless . You keep going, finding strength and determination by having the courage to face any hardship. Thanks for the prompt this week. I had no idea what to write for my Monday post and then your prompt inspired me. Have a lovely week, Denyse xx

    • Thank you kindly for your words.

      I sure had to put my ‘money where my mouth is’ as they say this morning. I did not ‘feel’ terribly courageous about my Monday trip to Sydney and more time getting my upper mouth sorted. BUT..with this title, and some good advice from myself (not always asking my hub is a sign of progress) I did it.

      The trip was OK and the end result whilst not quite envisaged does have to come. It’s seeming forever right now but hope after today there may be some progress. I am not even that concerned about the teeth anymore but I sure would like to have a more comfortable mouth so we shall see.

      I am glad that this post prompt helped.

      Denyse x

  3. I love these quotes. I consider you a courageous person – it’s your inner strength and determination that I find endlessly inspirational. Courage comes in so many forms, but the one that really resonates with me is the quote about courage and comfort – and choosing one.

    • Thanks Jo. I picked ones that resonated. I sure agree with the courage over comfort. it can be ‘easy’ to stay in the one spot (figuratively) but as humans we look for growth so courage must be a tool to use to change. Today it was harder to get moving and off to Westmead AGAIN but I did. Courage over comfort. But it would not have even been comfort as i needed the stent adjusted anyway!

      Today, as I sat (painfully in my shoulder and arm which has some bursitis) in the dental chair, I listen to Susan David (I found her on a Ted Talk and highly recommend her work) on Emotional Agility. She talked quite a bit about courage over comfort so visual me came up with how it would look. I must create it one day!!

      Denyse x

  4. There is so much in this post that I love that I hardly know where to begin. I’m going to start with your blog – I think it takes phenomenal courage to put yourself out there online, where everyone is just that bit more vulnerable than in real life. And ask for the ‘external measures of success in blogging by-pass me’, do you mean numbers-wise? I’ve stopped looking at numbers and analytics. I’ll never be one of those bloggers with a huge following and while I’d like to be, I feel much more comfortable where I am now. And I think you and your blog have made a huge impact on a lot of people’s lives. So be proud!
    You seem like you’re well-versed in taking that ‘leap of faith’, even if you’re unsure of the outcome and I think that sometimes, that’s all you need in life – that willingness to give it a go.

    • Thank you, that is so kind of you.

      In terms of the blogging, when I started I felt I had a lot to offer and hoped I would be an blogging expert in education and schooling. It did not happen. One blogger kindly let me know (I did ask) that people could get answers to what I might have helped with by googling it. And there were much bigger websites.

      However, I was still courageous enough to blog guest posts ( I never wanted money from them) for a number of sites and big time bloggers.

      The fact that I have stayed blogging is one thing only. CONNECTIONS. I would be so incredibly lonely and feel much more isolated without it. And it was me who kept it going and managed the changes I think to make this lovely community here.

      I am chuffed that you think people may have taken some of my thoughts and posts and found them helpful. I always look at your travel blogs in awe. The journo is in your heart (teacher in mine) and you do a fabulous job with words and pics!!

      Denyse x

  5. Every time I read one of your posts about how you are dealing with your cancer journey I admire your strength, courage and grace Denyse.

  6. Courage looks so different to what we thought it would doesn’t it Denyse? I loved every one of your examples (and I wish I’d had a similar conversation with my dad before he died – he didn’t live long enough for me to pluck up the courage). Letting go of family expectations, doing life on our own terms – so many similarities, but then you added your cancer journey into the mix and that took your courage to the next level – well done xx

    • Thank you Leanne. I remember these conversations with Dad well. He has taken it all very well. There are still the odd occasions where I let him know he is out of line. Maybe age has mellowed him. It is unfortunate though, that his OLD voice of reprimand or judgement is still heard from time to time in my head but I can generally challenge it and send it away!

      Cancer. I wasn’t even going to mention it in this post because I could recall other examples. However I am glad that I did. I had to put courage in action today just to get to Westmead for more progress in what seems interminably long for me. I did it but it really doesn’t get easier over time. I do have more and new skills to help me through so that is good.

      Denyse x

  7. I’m not sure I agree in courage and comfort being mutually exclusive. You can take both great courage and great comfort in being yourself, for example.

    • Ooooohh yes. I love that take on it, Ness.

    • Awesome perspective. Yes, I hear you.

      I think, in terms of the person and her quote it’s when people prefer or stay with comfort as a means of protection. I know I was so that person for about 6 months but it wasn’t even that comfortable either as I “knew” in my heart I had to take action (courage) to move forward otherwise I would stay stuck.

      Denyse x

  8. I don’t have a post ready this week but you’ve summed up what I would have said. And you’ve lived it all as well which is incredibly inspiring. I really needed to read this today and keep it in mind. I’m in the process of trying to make some some changes and I don’t cope with change and it’s a challenge. But I will move forward with my wobbly courage. Thank you for writing this.

    • Wobbly courage is the way to go. I do not think any of my courage has been of the ‘get up and go’ variety. Today, before garnering all my courage to drive to Westmead knowing I would be sitting still in a dentist chair for hours, I really did not want to go. But I did.

      Look at your recover from cancer. I did not know you as well then. I think anyone who fronts up to what is nasty and hurts is courageous.

      I write some of my thoughts out each day about how things are going for me and it helps. No-one sees it but me. I get to look back and I can see some subtle shifts.

      I wish you well my wobbly warrior!

      Denyse x

  9. A very inspiring post Denyse. I like all the quotes.
    I find courage by trying not to think about things too much. Cancer is a real challenge though, especially with your body constantly telling you there’s something wrong with little twerks and issues. Thankfully when I was in London recently, my body behaved beautifully and I had more energy than my 18 year old daughter! I can’t shake this 7 week old cough / virus though.

    • Thank you so much Jody. What a great time you had in London. I guess you had a determination to make it the best ever. I hope you get the cough/virus sorted. Those that hang around need a diagnosis and I would hope a very simple answer. Thinking of you.

      Denyse x

  10. courage and I are on shaky ground, because I think it requires you to at least acknowledge your fears, and I don’t want to face my fears (and certainly don’t want to do it anyway.)

    I love the Brene Brown quote you included in the end.

    • Oh Cate, that made me a bit sad for you.

      Have you considered writing your thoughts about the fears down?

      I did something like this when I was stuck in 2016 into 2017 and listened to some work by Brene Brown as well.

      Acknowledging what you have here is a first step into moving into and past your fears.

      I hope you continue.

      Denyse x

  11. I love what your thoughts on courage are, Denyse. Sure it would be easier to play small, but that’s not living. I always think courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway <3

    • Thank you. When I was in a sad state, even though not clinically depressed, I sometimes literally wanted to curl up in a ball and when that happened to me, I knew it meant I needed to DO something different and it often meant telling someone like my husband, then taking some action like walking outside or doing some art. Recognising what it meant/means helped I reckon.

      Thanks for linking up lovely!
      Denyse x

  12. Wonderful examples of courage and I love your artwork. I like the quote “courage is not the absence of fear …” and I totally get it with the blog as I was the same.

    • Ah thank you Suzy, I am glad I have another who ‘gets the blog’ part.

      I appreciate your kind words and do enjoy creating as a way to handle my fears and move away from them.

      Denyse x

  13. Great post. I love your take on courage and your personal examples. Sometimes, it can be difficult to see your own courage so I am pleased you see the strength in yourself that we also see xx

    • Thanks Becky, that is so kind. I see courage in you each time you venture outside and take pics. Each time you post a photo on IG. It is through the smallest of steps that we start. And we falter, and we may have to go back again. But, always we can do this.

      Denyse x

  14. Denyse
    This was such an inspirational post to read. It’s interesting how my post took a similar perspective on what courage means as yours has!

    SSG xxx

  15. For me courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway. And not necessarily out of choice. Often we have to be courageous because that’s the hand that life has dealt us.

  16. Denyse, I love everything about this post.

    You are not only courageous but very inspiring. I was late to finding Brené Brown (as apposed to 99% of the population) but boy, has she made an impact on the way I speak to myself and wish to live my life. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched her TED talks. So powerful.

    Thanks for sharing this great post Denyse. Xx

    • Oh thank you dear Sandra!

      Late or not to Brene Brown she sure tells it as it is for her as we all take note of her research into shame and blame. The 3 years before my cancer diagnosis I was listening to, reading and taking heed of her words, along with Tara Brach (she is fab and does free podcasts and videos at Tarabrach (dot) com and Pema Chodron. What was interesting…and of course part of my learning (over & over) is we must stay in the present moment no matter how good, hard or anxiety producing it is because it WILL and DOES pass. It’s our urge to run away or to think about it too much that keeps it alive.
      It all has equipped me better for cancer and the recovery time…as has connecting here with like-minded people such as you.

      Denyse x