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Lessons in Courage: Follow Your Heart

Posted By Connie Delaney, U of M School of Nursing, Tuesday, January 2, 2018
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"Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without it we can't practice any other virtue with consistency." - Maya Angelou

Courage. It’s the theme for this year’s TRUST Forum event on April 11 and it’s a topic we talk about frequently within TRUST programs and communications. Why? We believe strongly in supporting women in health care to move through fear to find their courage to boldly transform the industry.

Definitions of courage often include persevering in the face of challenges and following one’s heart to stand up for what is right despite fear and risk. This is apt because the word courage comes from the French root coeur, which means heart. The heart is our spiritual core, closely linked to the mind, together providing wisdom. The link between the head and the heart is apparent every time our fight or flight drive is engaged. It is at that point we call on courage to stand up or stand down. Many times, the boldest, more courageous move is to take a step back to deescalate a perilous situation.

Courage is woven throughout our lives. At its core the courage to know and be who we uniquely are is ongoing. Courage expands our awareness, our ability to be transparent, and our vision to transform.

Our courage comes from within despite not always feeling bold or brave. It has been said that what you yearn for is who you are. If you yearn to be bold, it doesn’t mean you lack boldness; rather, you have not yet reached your full potential for it. Mary Anne Radmacher sums up this idea of courage by stating: “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”

The TRUST is here to support women to realize courage comes from within. The TRUST exists to support women leaders in health care and create a collaborative force of women who share insights and expertise to lead within the industry. I hope you’ll join us in sharing your stories of leading courageously in health care.

I also encourage you to join us at the Forum in April as we learn from and honor 20 courageous women in Minnesota health care and hear from Ann Bancroft, one of the world’s preeminent polar explorers and an internationally recognized leader. Ann has used her courage to explore the unknown and to inspire women and girls around the world to unleash the power of their dreams.

As we start a new year, may you have the strength to unleash the full potential of your courage for today, tomorrow and the future of health care.

Connie Delaney currently serves as TRUST President, and Professor and Dean at the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota. Connie holds degrees in nursing and mathematics, adult health nursing, educational administration, and informatics. Connie’s work is expanding connections, collaborations, integrative informatics, and social structures which advance co-discovery of solutions that transform health and education systems.

Tags:  Courage  Maya Angelou  TRUST Forum 2018  women leaders in health care 

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