Courage. When I think about courage, I’m reminded of the Cowardly Lion. He was always so aware of what he couldn’t do. So painfully ashamed of the enormity of his fear. Over and over he cowered. Finally, he summoned the courage to follow Dorothy, Tin Man, and Scarecrow to visit the Wizard. Thankfully, his friends wouldn’t allow him to back out of his quest for courage.
I‘ve always felt a deep connection with Dorothy of Oz, and I played her in my third grade play. For me, it always comes back to the underlying theme:
Trust your inner power, your heart, — it will always lead you where you need to go. (Click your heels, Dorothy…)
It takes a lot of courage to trust our inner urges. It can feel scary to reach for courage. Having courage means doing scary things. Sometimes that’s enough to stop us. And, just like the Cowardly Lion, we’ll do just about anything to talk ourselves out of it.
Here are 5 tips which will help you in your quest for more courage.
ONE: Start safe. When you’re stepping out in a new way, start in a safe place. Practice first with supportive people. For example, if you want to speak in front of a group, start with a small group, or even one of your friends. If you’re holding back a creative work, start by sharing it with someone you trust. Just start. The goal is to build confidence and courage along your way, so that you feel comfortable, and supported as you go.
TWO: Take Baby Steps. Often we’re afraid of the big goal that looms in the distance. Looking so far off into the future can feel as scary as Wicked Witch of the West. Small, gradual, steps are what will help you build experience, momentum, and courage. Acknowledging your results, however small, will encourage you to move forward.
THREE: Take notice of the courage you’ve shown in the past. Big and small. For example, perhaps you dragged yourself to a networking meeting for the first time. Or you sang in front of a friend. Starting, or breaking up, any type of relationship takes enormous courage. Then there are the biggies like moving, changing careers, facing illness and loss, and speaking up for yourself. Harness the feelings of courage you’ve already displayed. En-courage yourself.
FOUR: Look to Nature. Nature is bursting with metaphors of courage. A bud emerging from the thawing earth. A flower opening from its bud. A butterfly emerging. A baby bird taking first flight. Find a metaphor that works for you, and envision your emerging beauty.
FIVE: Use EFT Tapping. EFT is a fabulous technique for releasing feelings of fear and anxiety. A very effective technique for reducing cortisol, the major stress hormone. Learning how to use EFT Tapping will help you calmly navigate the scary places. Contact me to learn more about EFT.
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