Finding courage

I’m definitely not fearless, I’m courageous.

Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx

My grandmother used to complain about my fearlessness when I was very young (less than 5 years old). She was always worried I’d get hurt.

Now, I experience tons of fear, and the truth is, I’d question myself if I was experiencing no fear when I’m about to do something outside my comfort zone.

We put so much more focus on fear than courage. Fear exists. It takes courage to go out and do something that people don’t always get, and to be totally yourself. So rather than think, “I’m not afraid,” perhaps move yourself into “I have courage!”

It becomes about managing the mind and the ever-consuming self-doubt.

The good news is, lacking courage is just a habit, and it has nothing to do with shyness or being an introvert. We’ve just been made to believe that what we think is who we are.

Our mind is trainable.
Meditation is incredibly effective.
Off the cushion, you’ll want to observe your thoughts and turn them around as soon as you see them on the edge of the downward spiral, and even before then, which you will learn to identify after some honest observation.

There is a difference between willful thinking and disciplined thinking.
In willful thinking, there is a denial of thought (which pushes it further into the subconscious and emotional pain centers) and a desperate attempt to think another way. It freezes and dis-eases us.
In disciplined thinking there is witness to the thought and a reframing. It neutralizes the negativity and tools us.
Like any muscle, the discipline gets stronger the more you work it.
What can make it difficult is the addictive quality of willful thinking. Like any addiction, it requires commitment, and one can expect falling off the wagon from time to time.
Here’s where kindness and pre-forgiveness becomes a wonderful gift to Self, and to know that grace comes with honest effort, we needn’t fret about having taken the two steps back.

Fearlessness is not the point. But to have courage… to be yourself in challenging moments. That’s true success.

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