Often we think of courage as something big or a heroic deed you do to save the world. Following is the definition of courage from Merriam Webster: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Courage to me is to have the strength of speaking your mind without the fear of judgments. These judgments could be of your own judgments or others. You show the strength to withstand the fear or judgment.
- SIT WITH IT: It does not have to take a lot of work to start practicing courage. Courage could be simply accepting the fact that the fear or judgment exists. You don’t even have to accept or overcome it yet. Simply sitting with it can be liberating. Acknowledging that the fear or judgment is there can be a little yet courageous step towards liberation. After all, as a Chinese proverb guides us so, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
- SHARE: My clients teach courage to me everyday by merely sharing their struggles, fears, and judgments with me. It may take a lot of courage to face the fears you’re faced with on daily basis, but you don’t have to do it alone. Share your fears and judgments with someone who can be non-judgmental and empathic towards you. The fear loses its hold on you when you bring it out of the darkness into the light. Sharing your strength with someone is bringing your fears out from the darkness into the light.
- SET FREE: I really admire my clients for showing courage by sharing their fears to a complete stranger. I respect their willingness to grow and develop into a better person for their children, spouses, parents, siblings, and most importantly for themselves. It can be really hard and extremely difficult to verbalize your deep dark secrets – small little lies, irrational fears, stupid negative thoughts, illogical worries, and shameful acts. It takes a great courage to bring these monsters to light; however, it pays off in the end because you free yourself from living with horror.
- GIVE: The benefit of courageously facing your fears is that you could be that empathic person with a nonjudgmental listening ear to someone else in need. Give the gift of courage to someone this holiday season!!!
Note: Please be aware you carefully choose the person whom you share your story with. If the person is judgmental it might further discourage you from talking about your fears with others. Professional counseling and coaching can be a great alternative.