Anna had incredible determination. When the law firm for which she worked laid her and many of her co-workers off in 2013, she convinced a colleague to start their own firm. They hit the ground running and were so successful, they hired three additional lawyers and a title expert in just six months. She faced cancer in the same way. Despite being terrified (which she rarely showed), she endured many different treatments. A skilled researcher, she found and tried alternative options, volunteered for Tenaciously Teal and tirelessly advocated for other cancer fighters for over 12 years.

Last August, my beautiful niece made the brave decision to stop treatment and face her fate with peace rather than resignation. She died in October at age 39. Her courageous spirit lives on in all of us.



Courage is the strength, power and determination to meet daunting circumstances head-on and do the right thing despite fear. It is the foundation on which all other virtues and values rest, and it is essential to be influential. It is important to strike a balance. Too much courage, and you risk coming across as confrontational or even threatening in your efforts to move others forward. Too little makes you hesitant to speak or make decisions, or too agreeable when other people do.

People who score high in the Courage trait (Keller et al, 2014):

  • Offer hope to those around them.
  • Are sources of inspiration and producers of results.
  • View fear as a source of wisdom in the face of danger.
  • Aren’t afraid to pursue extraordinary goals.

Areas of growth in Courage:

  • When courageous people feel threatened, they may take risks against their better judgment.
  • Courageous people may neglect to appreciate their less courageous yet deserving colleagues.
  • Courageous people may not have the patience to stay the course if they feel they may not attain their goals.
  • People low in courage tend to resist moving beyond the status quo.

Courage helps you reach your deepest truth. It is from this truth that you make courageous choices.

What is your truth? How can you use it to envision your extraordinary goals and use your fears as a source of strength to pursue them?

About Jeannie Phillips

Jeannie Phillips, PhD, ACC, is a Senior Affiliate Coach for Core Impact Coaching specializing in leadership development with over twenty years of corporate experience leading projects, people and the development and execution of strategy. She is also owner of J. R. Phillips Leadership Coaching focusing on transforming technical experts into influential leaders.

She’s also a coach for Women for Change Coaching Community (W4C3), a nonprofit organization with a mission to make coaching accessible to all women.