Moving beyond just coping.
Many of us encounter anxiety, stress and even fear in the workplace. There is a large amount of literature devoted to ways to cope with these problems; but instead of just coping, as though we are mere victims, what if we were able to move forward into the future with more courage? What if we could live more fully, with more vitality, in the face of what would otherwise be burdensome fears? Is it possible to develop more courage in our work?
People and cultures throughout time have held courage in high esteem. We often see this in the Bible; for example, as King David was approaching and death preparing his son Solomon to be the new King, he said this:
“Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid or dismayed.”
Or as God commands Joshua as he takes over from Moses and prepares to enter the promised land:
“Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Clearly courage is seen as an important human quality, and always has been.
But what do we mean by courage? One description is provided by psychologists Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman in their book Character Strengths And Virtues. Peterson and Seligman say that courage is one of the six core moral virtues. As such it involves:
“emotional strengths that involve the exercise of will to accomplish goals in the face of opposition, external and internal.”
In other words, when we have courage we have the emotional strength to exert our will, to accomplish our goals in the face of opposition, and this opposition can be either external or internal.
Peterson and Seligman go on to associate courage with bravery, persistence, integrity, and vitality.
In this episode we draw on insights from both positive psychology and the Bible in an attempt to learn how we might take steps towards developing the habit of living and working more courageously.
About the Faith and Enterprise Podcast
Each Monday we release a new podcast episode dealing with Spiritual Renewal in Our Work Lives. Topics include finding purpose/work as a calling, spiritual practices that can help us in our work, dealing with workplace stress and other forms of workplace toxicity, spiritual aspects of leadership, and building a flourishing work life. We invite you to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play, or listen on our website. You can also subscribe to email updates when we release new material.