Courage is an action of the heart, and only when we act through the forces or the heart we can be considered courageous.
In the symbolism we find the heart corresponding to the center of the individual, the house of the spirit. In many different religions, the heart corresponds to the Kingdom of God, that would be contained entirely in it, the realm where the individuality returns after its spiritual journey upon the face of the Earth. It is said therefore that the lights of the spirit and the intuition shine through the heart, that is also seen in the human being as the Sun, the internal King, the interior God of the man, the one that must guide or govern it.
The man who desires to act through the forces of the heart, allowing its light shining and guiding its steps, feeling itself courageous to face fears and daily challenges, should develop values and spirituals qualities connected to the heart and that are correlated to love, goodness, respect, responsibility, beauty, tolerance, compassion, patience, intuition, fraternity, freedom, gentility, altruism and cooperation, peace (non-violence), happiness, truth, simplicity, humility and sense of unity.
That’s way courage has nothing to do with aggressiveness, brute force, violence, irresponsibility, lack of respect for life and to others. Due to this fact the heart alone is strong and courageous only when it radiates love in its more different forms, driving man to act in a centered, confident, nicely and wisely transcending way the fears and stinginess trapped in the negative content of the Ego, such as egoism, vanity and its deep fears.
The fear is a mechanism of defense co-related to the survival instinct, just like anger and aggressiveness, and help us to care for and protect our lives. Thus, when feeling the fear to be injured or die, we can protect the integrity of the physical body in such an instinctive way.
But behave under the camouflage of our ego, just to try to keep and to protect our desire for power, our beliefs, ideals, paradigms, social status, relationship or standards to which ego becomes attached, fear becomes unhealthy and harmful; the same occurs when a person lives too deeply immersed in illusion and neuroses, becoming tied to its suffering, so trying the fear in its more diverse forms, in an attempt of protecting himself even when no actual danger exists.
More force we give to the ties and neuroses of the ego, validating its negative contents, more fear we can feel. The more and better we develop the virtues of the heart, surely we will be experiencing the courage.
Many people are trying to transcend fear, the anxiety, a kind of fear regarding the future, added to a lack of self-confidence and affliction for the negative expectation: panic; fears; apprehensions; terror and riskiness.
But do not achieve its intent, as they had not realized they need to truly fortify and develop the virtues of the heart, in a deep process of self-knowledge, personal and spiritual development, where they can live deeply the interior force, through the reconstruction of self esteem, the self confidence and faith, beyond the expansion of love for other people.
That would place them in contact with the virtue of the courage, facing its fears and expressing the best part of itself. And if you want to be the hero of your own history, using the courage in your day by day life, it is necessary, through the effort of the self-knowledge, to transform your personality by strengthening it with the forces of the heart.
The typical hero symbolizes the union of celestial and terrestrial forces, or human, where its first and more important victory is the conquest of itself, when he faces its fears, its shadows, its limitations, using a magical force (said celestial or of gods, but in fact it’s the force of his Superior Self - or his Soul), extending his human force and unity. In other words we can say that the hero sublimes the forces of instinct (aggressiveness, anger, fear and escapisms), raising them to the sublime intelligence, to love, to intuition, sacrificing the negative forces of the ego, surrendering to the sacred place that exists in himself and to the power of the heart, finding there the courage to win his daily battles.
And this is only possible when by self-knowledge we discover that, in first place, we are an immortal soul, plenty of holy potential, living a temporary experience in a physical body, but aware of the fact that we are not abandoned, because we are loved by God and we always can count on Him - even when we do not feel His presence in our lives - and then we decide to stay more in contact with what we really are, to expand our conscience and to fortify our inner self.
To be courageous always demands a certain portion of surrendering to the internal divine orientation (To this purpose, try meditation and prayer), and also claims to avoid the mental control upon life events, that only unbalance and generates sufferings. When we understand and trust that our superior desire is in perfect tuning with the Divine will, we learn a little more about acting through the heart, but for this, we must step a correct journey of personal development, and many possible ways exist to reach this goal.
You can, for example, decide to look for a specialized professional for help, as a Flower or a Psychology therapist; or join groups to study the self-knowledge, or also take part of the many support groups that stimulates the self development; even reading books concerning the matter; meditate, pray, always remembering that the journey is absolutely personal and nobody will be entitled to walk your way for you.