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Courage is not living without fear. Courage is being scared to death and doing the right thing anyway.

An awkward saurus gets pushed around a fair amount in her day to day life. She tends to apologize for being in the way when someone steps on her foot. She won’t make a stink when people are disrespectful or rude, giving angry folks the benefit of the doubt, and doing her best to take the random negativity in stride. In the end, her guts end up taking the toll for absorbing such things. And she’s frankly tired of it.

I’ve been working on growing a backbone for a while, and I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been easy. For every step I take toward preserving myself or my own integrity, the instinctual guilt I feel for doing so seems to take several steps backward. Still, I am determined not to give up.

Having courage isn’t living without fear, as the quote would indicate. Standing up for myself is downright petrifying, especially considering how I’ve been trained to never stand up for myself, to go with the flow and do what others want. But with the glimmer of truth, knowing standing up for myself is the absolute right thing to do, I have been doing it anyway.

Recently, I made a snap decision to confront someone who is notoriously inconsiderate and disrespectful to me. While I was fuming inside, it took all my courage to confront them about a specific act, with clear evidence as soon as the first opportunity arose. In doing so, I kept my tone firm but irritated, statement short and to the point, and ended with the finality that put forth the impression to not mess with me again.

I fully expected the individual to deny, blame others, and become indignant, I wasn’t let down. But I held my ground, pointed out the evidence and remained firm.  In the end, several people came up to me afterward with congratulations. I guess that person was not well liked by many, and by confronting them within earshot of others was a victory for us all.

What I did not expect was for the bully to back down, turning on the charm in an attempt to ingratiate themselves to me. In the end, nothing made me more disgusted with them than the aftermath, because it showed what a coward they really were to begin with. I also didn’t expect the rush of satisfaction by reinforcing boundaries and a stronger sense of self. My armor strengthened and resolve hardened, I think the next time around will be easier and I’m feeling a bit more courageous.