Are you courageous?  Courage is the second of three critical ingredients to overcome fear of change in our lives.  Do you have the courage to make the changes in your life you want to make?   Let me rephrase that… have you discovered the courage inside of you to make the changes in your life you want to make?  Often we think courage is reserved for Superman or Wonder Woman, but it’s not.  Courage is a funny thing.  It can’t come from others or from a magic pill.  Each of us has to reach down deep and find it.  The good news is that it’s there.  We all have budding superheroes in us, we just have to be willing to look hard enough and realize our own potential.  Here are a few handles to reach for as you dig down for the courage that’s inside of you:

  • Get mad – my wife has a fantastic phrase when she has had enough.  She says, “I’m over me.”  Are you over you?  Get mad, reach deep down, find the courage you need and discover your inner superhero.  She / he is in there.  Let ‘em out.
  • Stand up for the innocent – any good superhero protects the innocent.  But you don’t have “any innocent civilians to protect in your life” you say?  Oh contraire.  You have your family to protect.  As one client of mine recently said to me, “it is critical to me that I model a life of courage and risk-taking for my children.  I don’t want them to grow up afraid of life and fearful to make the changes they want to make.”  Are you modeling the life you want your family to be proud of?  Your ancestors, your parents, your siblings, your spouse, your children, your children’s children?  You get the picture.  It’s not about you.  It’s about them.  Be the hero they need you to be.
  • Say No – Stop the “bad guys” by refusing to let them continue.  Sometimes courage is not about doing, it’s about refusing to “do” any more.  Say no and stand up to the games you no longer want to play.  This kind of courage can be even harder to come by, but as I mentioned in an earlier post, “I promise you won’t die.”  Say No.

I think this quote from Marianne Williamson sums it all up nicely:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most.  We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and famous?’  Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you.  We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.  And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Dig down, realize your true strength and find the courage that’s been in you all along.  For an inspirational example, check out this commencement address from J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter fame).  If you haven’t seen it, it is an absolute must.

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.