There’s a nuance to the meaning between bravery and courage that makes all the difference.
Bravery is the ability to confront pain, danger, or attempts of intimidation without any feeling of fear. It is strength in character that allows a person to always be seemingly bigger than the crisis, whether he is indeed more powerful or lesser than what he is facing.
Courage, on the other hand, is the ability to undertake an overwhelming difficulty or pain despite the eminent and unavoidable presence of fear. More than a quality, it is a state of mind driven by a cause that makes the struggle worth it. Unlike in the case of bravery, a person fueled by courage may feel inevitably small in the face of peril, pain, or problems.
The essence of courage is not the feeling of being capable of overcoming obstacles, but rather the willful choice to fight regardless of the consequences and limitations.
Bravery is driven by self confidence, courage is driven by a mission. Courage feels more accessible to me, because it’s about showing up everyday to do generous work no matter how we feel.
We get to choose to be our best selves in the best way possible regardless of the outcome. Courage is a call to be generous. It may lead to us doing brave things, but I think it starts with how we show up.
It’s who Theodore Roosevelt calls the man in the arena. The person “who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”