Every great thing we set out to do requires courage. As we endeavor to step out of our comfort zone, make an effort to change, take a step toward our dreams, we activate both our mind and spirit to draw upon our inner well of boldness.
We think of courage as a daring act of bravery that – in our mind’s eye – tends to look and feel big. However, courage comes in many shapes and sizes. It can be bold or soft, brash or muted. Rosa Park showed great courage, as did Ghandi.
The capacity to be courageous lies within each one of us. Courage shows up in our actions, not in our nature. True courage comes from the heart, from your spirit, from the center of your being. One way to experience courage is to think of it as the opposite of insecurity.
Fear-Based Insecurities Block Courage
When we allow fear-based insecurity to get in our way, weigh us down – so to speak – we undercut our ability to act courageously; our ability to make bold and brave decisions.
Courage takes place when we simply face (rather than deny or stuff down) our difficulties, feelings of anxiety, fear, rather than get paralyzed by it. We don’t let our insecurities get in the way.
How does this weigh-in with living a healthy lifestyle?
If you will allow me, I’d like to share a simple, soft and quiet act of bravery to illustrate today’s topic, ‘courage.’
The short of it – a client of mine, Mary, shared with me that she was enjoying brunch out at a trendy new restaurant with ‘new’ friends; people with whom she’d not dined with before, people she did not know well, people who were not aware of her commitment to living a healthy life.
Mary ordered an egg white omelet with a side of fresh fruit salad and ‘dry’ wheat toast. Dry as in ‘no butter.’ Alas, when the waiter returned to the table with everyone’s delish dish, her plate included heavily buttered white toast, which by the way, was burnt to boot!
If insecurity and fear had surfaced and taken over, Mary may have become overly concerned with what her new friends might think about such a bold and courage act of self-care, and this fear and insecurity may have stopped her from advocating for herself.
Mary took in a deep breath, and in a measured and polite voice, she pointed out the ‘toast mishap’ to the waiter and dry wheat toast was hers within minutes.
Courageous Acts of Self-Care
This may not sound like much, it may not read like a ‘bold act of bravery,’ but for this particular person advocating for herself was very much a courageous act. She had the audacity to ask for what she wanted.
Even though Mary felt a good degree of anxiety, she plowed through her fear and asked for what she wanted, anyway.
Acts of bravery can be quiet, understated and simple. They are often personal and connected to our wellbeing. Depending on the circumstances, an audacious act of courage could be to simply smile and utter the words “no, thank you.”
What do your courageous acts of permanent fat removal look like? Are they simple? -or bold? Are they loud? -or soft? Are you able to advocate for yourself, stand your ground with ease? –or difficulty?
Will your courageous act sound like a roar? –or a whisper?
In your mind’s eye,
sprinkle the seeds of bold and audacious courage.
Then simply allow them to take root.
And watch with amazement,
as your dreams come true. – Janice Taylor
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