Regardless of the size of those first steps, don’t let anyone define or downplay your courage.
Your first victorious steps of courage are yours to be celebrated. You may have openly admitted that you’re unhappy in your marriage, or you left a toxic job to chase your dream. Regardless of the size of those first steps, don’t let anyone define or downplay your courage.
For example, it takes courage for me to meet new people. I'm terrible at it. My antisocial behavior embarrasses and infuriates my wife. I don't know why, though. Most people surrounding us at that party were strangers to me.
So what if she shares a bit of genetic code with them? My anxiety can't run DNA tests. So I sat there alone at a cast aside table at her grandmother's 80th birthday party.
I have pretty significant social anxiety when it comes to strangers. My palms get clammy, and my pores ooze the salty nectar of anxiousness. From my feet to my brow, I get drenched in sweat, and I start over-analyzing everything.
I hardly spoke to anyone all day, but I indeed got an earful when we drove home.
That was one of many similar interactions between my wife and me. She gets livid if I don't show interest in everyone at our social outings.
“If you’re going to have a bad attitude, then you may as well stay home.”
I tell her every time that I can’t predict when my loner nature will flare-up. I'm a work in progress.
Recently, I told her that I'm working on displaying more courage. It's one of the three words in my daily affirmation.
Courageous, compassionate, and consistent.
Courage is listed first because I don't feel that I have much of that to offer. I've made countless life decisions out of fear.
She says I am courageous in a lot of other ways. I flat out disagree.
Sure I used to sing, act, dance but those things rarely scared me.
Those arts awakened a fire in my soul. With each performance, I felt like a child catching a firefly for the first time, realizing I could hold light in my hands. I lived to share that light. It never frightened me.
What’s fearful about that?
"Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared." - Eddie Rickenbacker
She may chuckle at the things which scare the crap out of me. Her being social with strangers is as effortless as throwing on her scrubs to go to work at her nursing job. For me, it’s like putting on a tuxedo and tying a bowtie for the first time while running late to the party.
Courage is as individual as your fears are secret. And it is as intimate as love.
Another person cannot deem your actions as courageous or not. Your courage is based on your anxieties, fears, and risks of loss, not theirs.
We stare at the wall of fear and attempt to bust through because of the strong motivations at our core.
NO ONE CAN DEFINE YOUR COURAGEOUSNESS BUT YOU.
"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." - Nelson Mandela
Comedians constantly jest about the concept of courage. In the movie Barbershop, Cedric the entertainer's character says, "Rosa Parks ain't do nothing but sit her black ass down."
The public knows of the social risks of breaking the mold in such segregated times. But we assume everything about her fear and her motivations. If Rosa Parks wasn’t afraid or didn’t see going to jail as a risk, then I suppose she did just “sit her black ass down.”
Only she knows whether it took courage to sit (or stay seated) on the bus that day in Montogomery, AL.
Don't let the opinions of others limit your first courageous steps. If you have strong reasons for achieving a goal, don't let fears and risks stand in your way.
Start flexing your muscles of courage. Commit to chipping away at the wall of fear. It can be dismantled brick by brick. You will be stronger and happier as you step over the rubble.
I’m learning to show courage in social settings, being a better writer, and developing a following.
Remember. You are stronger than you think, and the universe will reward you in the coming days.
The most crucial step to skydiving is getting on the plane.
Here or your doctor's orders.
What have I done this week, which took courage?
What was I afraid of this week and did anyway?
Identify your anxieties, risks, fears.
What am I struggling with?
What barriers do I regularly face that block my progress?
What concrete knowledge or skills can I learn from the struggle itself?
How can I reframe my struggle or plan to decrease my fear, anxiety, and pain?
What reward does my achievement naturally provide?- Think time, money, happiness, popularity, etc.
What reward can I give myself once I achieve my goals?
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Until Next Time my People.