Courage...What is it and how do I get it?
What do you think of when you hear the word “courage?” Does the cowardly lion come to mind? Or a soldier in battle? Or someone fighting a health issue?
I looked up the word-online of course because who has a dictionary anymore-and found the following definitions:
1. The ability to do something that frightens one.
2. Strength in the face of pain or grief.
3. Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty
Do any of these resonate with you? Maybe it’s a mix of more than one of these?
The way I see it, courage can take many forms; in our daily life we hear about the grand ways people are courageous. Take the last year and a half for example-healthcare workers on the frontline have been through you-know-what and deserve so much more adulation and appreciation than they ever have before.
My daughter Katie is one of those workers; she’s an Occupational Therapy Assistant and she connects to her patients while encouraging them to work hard to care for themselves. Her workplace had a very large number of patients who did not survive and it broke her heart but she kept going back to work every day. That’s courage.
We all have ways that we are courageous. Sometimes it’s a decision to do something different or not do something we have always done. Maybe we are tired of following directions or doing the same old thing. That’s courage.
Maybe it’s deciding to take a different career direction, starting a new business. That’s courage.
Or maybe it’s just stepping back from people who do not serve you. That’s courage too.
So let’s think about what courage means to you? How do YOU define it?
Seriously think about this-let your mind wander and think about what you would love to be doing. Write down whatever comes to your mind, anything and everything,
E V E R Y T H I N G.
Now pick one of those things that feels like it’s the one you most want to get/achieve/do and write down what’s stopping you aka barriers. Really dig deep and be honest with yourself.
Now look at the barriers you wrote down. Are they external or internal? Are they tangible resources like money or space or do they come from within you like fear or lack of confidence? Maybe you have a little from both and that’s ok too.
Take each barrier and come up with potential ways to eliminate or lessen them. So if money is a barrier, how do you get more? Do you eliminate the morning latte on the way to work? (That’s a great way to save $$ by the way.) Some banks have a program where you can round up your purchases and that extra money goes into a savings account-check into that. Maybe you need to consult with a financial planner.
Internal barriers are more tricky because our brains are wired to believe what we think based on the messages we give them. #mindsetiseverything It is very difficult to turn around the effects of years of negative messages but it can be done. #beentheredonethat
I have found willpower, positive people, and essential oils have helped me turn my thoughts around. I will talk more about positive mindset in a future blog, but for now, picture yourself standing in front of your brain (I know it’s weird, just play along). You are holding a huge tennis racket (I told you to “play” along). As soon as a negative or unwanted thought comes along you take that racket and you swing at it and send it back where it came from. Keep that picture in your head or whatever image makes sense to you and consciously see yourself ready to block those negative thoughts or ideas. Eventually this practice becomes second nature to you and you don’t even need to think about it, it just happens.
Conquering those internal fears takes time and effort and I would love to help you! I mentioned essential oils being a help to me and I will share more about them in my next blog (hint: bergamot is my friend).
I have also started a new podcast called Midlife with Courage where I talk about daring to live your life as you have always wanted to. I will be featuring fearless women who have changed paths or stepped out of what was expected and want to inspire others to do the same. You can find a link to that podcast on this website. Please check it out and let me know what you think!
In the meantime, if you are brave enough to share your goals and dreams and barriers, feel free to leave them in the comments. They may be helpful and inspiring to others and that my friends is courage too.
Take care of yourselves and dare to find your courage!