Wednesday, February 02, 2011

A Profile in Courage

Some people are born daredevils, risking life and limb without breaking into a sweat.  Others are born chickens, plagued by so much self-doubt that even when they desperately long to to take a leap in their lives, they can't.

And then there are those who are just as afraid as the non-leapers, yet jump anyway.  George VI of Britain, nicknamed “Bertie” by his family and played to perfection by Colin Firth in The King’s Speech, was just such an individual--or so the film would have us believe.

Trying to overcome a debilitating stammer as he ascends to the throne, the future king struggles mightily, but doesn't give up.  When speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) says to him, "Bertie, you're the bravest man I know," the audience understands exactly what he means.

How can the rest of us cultivate this kind of courage?  The film provides a roadmap:

Find a coach.  Psychologists, therapists, life coaches, fitness trainers—all can cheer us on and help us both see the big picture and break down our goals into smaller steps.  The key is to locate someone who is a good match for our personalities and needs.  Keep in mind that Bertie went through several before he found the right fit.

Work on changing negative self-talk into positive self-talk.  Although Logue guides Bertie through this process, we can start by paying attention to the taunting voices in our heads, either talking back to them or replacing their chatter with something more productive.

Exercise our courage muscles.  The more Bertie practiced the techniques Logue taught him, the more confidence he gained.  As I've said many times on this blog, I've been trying for the past ten years to do a bold thing a day.  Nothing has changed my life more than that simple habit.


  1. A woman wrote me this morning saying that she wanted to post a comment here, but was unable to do so because of some glitch. If you find yourself in the same position, email me at to let me know that the problem hasn't been fixed.

  2. Wonderful post, Prill! I've had the experience of working with a life coach, and wow, did that help me grown and evolve.
    I think reading motivational and inspirational material as well as listening, such as, is so good for keeping the positive talk in your head instead of all the negative that can creep in.
    Surrounding ourselves with positive people in our life too sure helps for those times when we face negativity. And this all takes courage to do these things and live from our own truth.

  3. Wonderful response, Barbara!

  4. "We can start by paying attention to the taunting voices in our heads, either talking back to them or replacing their chatter with something more productive." Such true words, I must say. Those negative voices of doubt can surely be overcome.

    Great post! I'm so happy I came across your blog. In fact, I just bookmarked this post on StumbleUpon, Delicious, Digg, Reddit and Google bookmarks. Also, if you have the time, I hope you can check out my blog, too. I have a few articles that you might find interesting, like the one entitled "California Divorce Mediation", which you can read by visiting this link: Thank you so much and I'm looking forward to more of oyur entries!

  5. Good morning, Ed-- Glad you liked the post. Thank you so much for bookmarking it. I checked out both your blog and your site. I'm a huge believer in mediation, so we're on the same page.