We can collectively agree that it's been a heavy year. One thing is for sure, the past twelve months have provided us all ample room to step up & become better humans.

But how do we do that when we're facing information overload, analysis paralysis, & decision fatigue while existing in a world which cares more for your social media profile than your soul?

The answer is simple: courage.


Traditionally defined, courage is "the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear." However, it's taken on a different meaning these days.

We've become selective of those things which qualify as brave & courageous, and we easily dismiss everyday occurrences as no big deal or unworthy of recognition.


Well I've got news for you. The time has come to end the thought that the term, "courageous," is reserved only for a select group of people. That's a load of BS if I've ever heard one.


Enter unconventional courage, baby.

Simply put, unconventional courage is the ability to fully experience & sustain life—the great, the disastrous, and all the juiciness in between. It's about celebrating the everyday acts & range of emotions needed to actually travel your journey. 



The next round of the Unconventional Courage Campaign will be kicking off in early 2018!



Here's the heart of the matter:

Define your values. Stand strong in your beliefs.

One of the most courageous acts any of us can do is stand strong in our beliefs & values especially when faced with adverse situations. Participants of marches & other forms of peaceful protests take it upon themselves to ensure their voices are heard & their presence felt. And thank goodness for that! We need people who are fighting the good fight to evolve our country to become more inclusive while accepting & respecting all lifestyles.


Have the hard conversations.

I’m talking those times when there is something you NEED to say to a significant other, family member, or close friend. Maybe there was a disagreement & things got a little too heated or a habit you’ve tolerated all along that no longer cuts it for you. Maybe you’ve allowed the people you love most to walk all over your personal boundaries because you’ve yet to speak up for yourself. The most brutal of all talks? When it’s time to redefine the relationship because you’ve both grown as individual people but the relationship hasn’t quite matched that path.

But here’s the thing: these conversations, while hard & distressing, will lead to more meaningful & complex relationships. Your relationship will take on a new feeling because you see the value in putting your apprehension aside to deepen the shared bond.


Feel the feels.

We’ve romanticized words like ‘vulnerability’ & ‘authenticity’ yet our society often thinks less of those of us who wear our hearts on our sleeves. Sensitivity & empathy are modern-day superpowers & don't ever let anyone tell you any different.

Here’s the advice I wish I heard when I first decided to go against the traditional grain: You will always be too much of something for someone. People think I’m too sensitive or too opinionated or too big a dreamer for our very conventional world. I’m still dreaming after all this time because I refuse to let the opinions of people who have minimal significance in my life affect me.


Face fear.

We’re made to think that fear is one of the dreaded emotions & that we should do whatever it takes to just get rid of it. The major flaw in that mindset is that we cannot choose to selectively feel so if we want to welcome happiness & joy into our lives we have to be ready to face fear & uneasiness.

Acknowledge your fear & be sure to respect it, but do not allow it to navigate your direction. It’s going to be there alongside you & that’s okay as long as you don’t allow it to control you.


Get out of your comfort zone.

Comfort zones are easy, but your chances of becoming complacent are exponentially higher when you opt for the easy route. 

The other side of your comfort zone feels less scary & unpredictable when you regularly take small steps. Reach out to someone who is doing the exact thing you wish for yourself. Sign yourself up to learn something new. Do that thing you’re afraid to do.


Find the strength to begin again, and again.

There is something to be said for being resilient in a day & age when bullying is commonplace, jumping to conclusions is the new normal, and any path other than the conventionally well-traveled one is just weird. Resilience means overcoming life’s gritty experiences & finding something valuable to take with you.

We have varying reasons for picking ourselves up & moving forward. A sudden change in your coveted career. A relationship gone south. Unexpected hardships. The list goes on & on. But we have to carry on because as much misfortune as we might come across there is infinitely more joy & beauty just waiting to be discovered.


Trust & listen to yourself.

Most of us feel like we have to go, go, GO until we meet our goals & cross some sort of self-imposed finish line. Maybe it’s a project you desperately want to see through till it launches. Maybe it’s a desired promotion that has you working much longer hours. Or maybe you’re forging full steam ahead in every aspect of your life.

Living a courageous life requires both movement & pause. Work hard for your dreams. Push yourself past your comfort zone. But don’t forget to make & take time for yourself. The key to living this life AND enjoying the ride along the way is honoring yourself & your needs.


Just be you.

Authenticity has become a buzzword & we believe we’re presenting our true selves as long as we slap on that ‘authentic’ label. But there’s a difference between an authentic persona and upholding our integrity day in & day out.

Integrity is living your values. It’s making your{WHOLE}self available rather than showing only the nicely packaged character traits. Choosing growth & continuing to evolve while remaining true to yourself is integrity and that’s courage.


As I leave you with words from my personal courage hero, start to think about the role courage plays in your daily life. Are you recognizing it for the powerful tool it is?

Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.
— Dr. Brené Brown


The UNCONVENTIONAL COURAGE CAMPAIGN is coming back for a second round!

Unconventional Courage Campaign || Christine Barnes


1. To reframe how we define courage

2. To encourage a shift in focus back to our own lives & everyday courage

3. To celebrate all progress along the way!


Get the lowdown over here and get yourself on the list so you don't miss out on any of the extra special & soul-full tidbits that come with receiving the daily emails.