The 6 Types of Courage — and Why They Matter

Courage is a buzzword, but being courageous is not what you might think.

Sally Clarke
4 min readAug 2, 2022

A friend and I recently discussed the concept of courage and agreed it’s a beautiful quality. Yet, as my friend pointed out, our association with courage necessarily being a massive, daring act of extreme risk can actually undermine our courage:

“Sometimes, courage is invisible. It’s not always climbing Mount Everest — maybe it’s deciding not to climb Everest because you’re not ready, or it’s just not for you. We glorify certain types of visible courage. And this hurts us. An accumulation of small, courageous acts can add up to much more than one Everest.”

So, what is courage? And how can invisible courage serve us, just as much as the Instagrammable version?

What does courage mean?

Here’s my definition:

Courage is the fortitude to chart and sail your own course, to risk, venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, setback or challenge in the process.

Courage is not bravery.

Bravery stems from the latin word barbarus, which means brutal or uncivilized.



Sally Clarke

Wellbeing & burnout author, expert, writer & speaker. Global adventurer. she/her