"The wicked flee when no one is pursuing,
But the righteous are bold as a lion."
Courage, by definition, is doing something despite being afraid to do it. This is sometimes overlapped with 'stupidity'. However, the difference is that "stupid" courage doesn't mean you take your brain with you. "Courage doesn’t take intelligence, or skill, or morals. You have to bring those things to courage yourself." (1) Great words Bill!
For me, courage usually is paired with heroes. Those that saw a need and had the motivation to keep pushing for a meaning bigger than themselves. So many military personnel such as those that stormed Normandy, those that went into enemy territory for rescue missions, those that took a risk for their people, their homes and their country comes to mind. Today, we are forgetting so many stories of amazing men and women, who started out as regular people that kept striving to be better.
“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”- Theodore Roosevelt
I do also believe that there are different levels of courage. Speaking out about something personal (e.g. coming out or sharing about your depression) IS courageous. However, it is NOT the same as going into enemy territory during a heated war. This is from personal experience having lived through being suicidal, surviving domestic violence, and more. I would NEVER say my struggles are more courageous than someone who has almost faced death and torture while on duty to protect their fellow men and country. But I will also never say that others are NOT being courageous. Catch what I'm saying?
Also, everyone has it in them to do something courageous. But doing something with courage once does not mean you are a courageous person as a trait. That trait is given to those who are ACTIVELY trying to push themselves on doing courageous acts. Even little things such as pushing yourself that this time you will look the cashier in the eye while paying for groceries and after two years of trying, you finally succeed. It's a perpetual promise of stepping beyond your comfort zone to be better. Everyone has the ability, but not everyone takes the steps.
What is great, is that when you keep pushing to do courageous acts...you'll start gaining self-confidence! The acts of courage will become easier and more frequent. Find where to improve and keep going!