I was talking to a friend this morning who said that the personal development guru, Tony Robbins, says courage is a habit. I would change that slightly to say courage can become a habit—a habit of a way to be in the world and in one’s life.
Not the kind of running-into-a-burning-building courage, but an inner courage that has us first and foremost standing by our inner core—the core of who we are. Like planting a flag in the ground, no matter what happens, we stand by ourselves in an open, accepting, non-defensive, non-judgmental way to support who we are and what we want and need in our lives.
Mark Nepo says it so beautifully in his book Finding Inner Courage: “Having the courage to face our demons rather than seek revenge with the perpetrator. To feel what is ours to feel. It is the art of facing things—facing ourselves, each other and the unknown.”
Client’s come to me wanting to take their dreams from a vision in their imagination and heart to a reality in their lives. They know they need more courage but believe it is impossible to find. Courage is not something we either have or don’t have, are given a certain amount of when we are born and that is all we get. It is a muscle to exercise and strengthen like most everything else in our lives.
As we take small courageous steps outside of our zone of what has become comfortable, we gently, gradually, but most definitely start welcoming courage into our lives. These steps might be:
- Trying something new that you have been wanting to do but feel unsure of your abilities—a sport, an intellectual challenge, a project at work, a creative project.
- Speaking up and sharing your ideas with another or a group, even when your ideas don’t feel welcome.
- Kindly and gently letting a friend or family know when they have hurt you.
- Asking for what you need and want from those close to you and from yourself.
- Reminding yourself of times when you acted courageously—we all have them, we just tend to forget about them and shove them deep into our sub-consciousness.
- Listening to and trusting your intuition to know when to stay and when to go.
- Listening to and trusting your heart to guide you towards that which will bring you bliss and the life you desire.
- Then getting the support you need, as well as supporting yourself to take solid action steps towards making it real in your life. Not settling for less.
- Using your time for what you WANT to do rather than always what you think you SHOULD do.
- Accepting what is true in this moment and recognizing what is in your power to change and what is not.
Finding inner courage means supporting yourself in actualizing your life to be all that it can be. And as you do, you find your courage muscle growing stronger and stronger. The surprise of what you then see as possible is the gift just waiting for you.