What is the definition of courage? ‘Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.’ Marriam-Webster
Why is being courageous so difficult? Brene Brown suggests it’s because courage is so closely linked to vulnerability.
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage.” Brene Brown
We have grown up with the idea that we need to be perfect, that we need to get it right, that failing is bad. However, if you never fail then your not living with courage, you’re living in fear. And when we numb the fear we numb the joy. And then wonder why it’s so hard to find joy…
We all do it, me included, we build this story in our mind that we’re going to fail before we even start. Why?! Because we’re scared of being vulnerable. As humans we strive for acceptance, to be loved and praised, and the risk of the opposite happening makes us feel insecure. But what if we fought through the barrier of fear and fully embrace it, being courageous and seeking out the joy in life.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts” Winston Churchill
So how do we get over our fear of vulnerability, get out of our own way and lean into courage. Here are a few tips that have helped me:
💕 Embrace vulnerability
Notice when you feel vulnerable, listen to it, don’t shy away from it. Evaluate the risk and benefits, have confidence in your gut feeling.
💕 Stop believing that other people’s opinion of you are more important than your own.
You get to decide what success and failure is within your own life, no-one else. We have had drilled into us from a young age that success is getting married, a successful job, a big house, a perfect family. Living up to other people’s expectations is such a time consuming and draining way to live your life. Find courage to take the unique path that is right for you.
💕 Know that failing is ok
Yes, read that again. Failing is ok, as it’s a learning path which will eventually lead to the outcome you were looking for. You can't expect to be good at something the first time you try it. Albert Einstein famously said; “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” If you fail, evaluate what went wrong and learn from it, know that the failure means your one step closer.
💕 Listen to your heart
Are you being true to yourself? Do you take time to create space for you, sometimes we can be so busy running from one thing to the next that we don’t have time to consider what we want. Are we honest and vulnerable with other people, to create true connection? Take a moment each day to pause and listen to your heart, notice how the body feels, I now do this every morning and it makes such a difference.
💕 Stop comparing yourself to others
You are on your own journey, there will be others around taking a similar journey but it’s not yours, so try to avoid comparing. Don’t waste precious energy making comparisons, use this energy and channel it into your business, relationship or whatever it is you want to work on.
💕 Learn to be brave
Leaving your comfort zone, I’m talking to those who feel the fire in their heart, know there’s more out there but are scared to go grab it. Surround yourself with inspiring people, people who dream big, whether this is in person or via a podcast or personal development book. The people we regularly connect with shape our outlook on life. So if you want to be brave, find brave people and soak up their energy.
Enjoy reading this? Join me and start taking accountability for your wellbeing via the medium of yoga and mindfulness by joining my private Facebook group HERE. I'll be running a free 3 day challenge in the group from 14th- 17th June - put time aside to make YOU a priority.