When will you get the courage?
I hear it all the time...
"I would LOVE to____, I just don't have the courage."
As if courage were unattainable. As if it only could be displayed in the most monumental of moments. As if it were something that you do when everyone is watching, when the stakes are high...and when you always seem to come up short.
As if it was something bestowed upon a few lucky people- and somehow, in some way, by some stroke of misfortune; you were not one of them.
As if the word courage was reserved for the times when BIG things happen...and everything else was just ordinary.
But what I've learned- and listen up- because this is important; is that courage is found and fostered in the tiniest of moments.
And that it is a quality that every single one of us possesses. Whether we believe it or not.
Picked up the phone to reach out to a friend who is upset with you?
Got out of bed to go to work the morning after a breakup?
Asked for help from someone because you realized you couldn't do something alone?
Joined a new gym?
Told someone you loved them?
Said "No" to someone who you knew would be upset by that answer?
Posted on social media about a topic that made you feel vulnerable?
Changed your lifestyle and habits in ways that improved your health?
Smiled at a stranger in a grocery store?
Said "I am sorry."
Do you see where I am going with this? Do those moments seem extraordinary?
This list could go on forever, (and it does) because there are no shortage of these seemingly insignificant moments that make up our armory of brave ones.
Did I list off something that you have done at some point along the way in your life?
Did I list off things you may, in fact, do on a daily basis?
Did I list off things that you shrug off as minuscule, never knowing that it is those moments that are in fact changing your life?
It is THESE moments when you are exerting your courage: to show up, to be seen, to do what is hard, to do what is necessary, to do what is right.
And it is in these moments, that we sharpen our axe. Where we cultivate the strength and the CONFIDENCE- to take bigger leaps. To stare down bigger dragons.
You see, I don't believe you don't have the courage. Or that you are lacking this one big thing that keeps you stuck right where you are.
I believe you exemplify courage every day.
But what I do believe, is that you may be missing the confidence. And those two things are VERY different.. because most people believe they CAN work on their self confidence- but they believe they CAN'T work on their courage.
And if we understand that we all already HAVE the courage, that we show it in ways every single day- than we can get to work on the real issue. Our confidence in ourselves.
How do we do that?
-We start by acknowledging our bravery thus far. By honoring how far we have come, how many times we have done the right thing without even realizing we were doing the thing that counted.
-We start to see how often we show up courageously in our lives, and we begin to learn to trust ourselves...because we understand that we have always been doing the best we could.
-We put the baseball bat down, and stop beating ourselves up for not taking the bigger leaps of faith yet. The ones we feel require the "true courage", and we patiently wait for the next time that it is right to take action.
-WE TAKE THE ACTION. Have you ever heard of a mother jumping in front of a car to save her child? The mother doesn't think the moment before she jumps, "Should I be courageous right now?" She just JUMPS. In fact, think of those examples I gave you above- did you ever truly think, "Should I be courageous right now?" No- you just acted. You may have hesitated, you may have stumbled- but you just acted. And that is how courage works- courage is not about the feeling that precedes the action- courage IS the action. And self confidence is the thing that comes AFTER the action, when we later have a chance to realize that we just showed up for ourselves. We just did the thing that we didn't think we could do.
And it's as simple as that. The time to be courageous has always been now. And you have always been capable of doing it.
And the more you notice it, the more you ACT on it; the more confidence you will build when it comes time to do those BIG things you used to only wish you could do.
As one of my favorite authors, Brene Brown says-
"Courage is like—it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: You get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.”
So get out there, trust yourself- the moments to start couraging are upon us- and look at that- you've already gotten a head start.