What we all really crave is freedom or the feeling of being free.
From worries, from obstacles and to a certain extent, from the boundaries and walls that society has put up around the unwritten rules we follow. We’re conditioned to behave and act in a certain way, follow a certain path and ultimately just fit the mould.
It take courage to just be you and it takes courage to want or desire something different from the life we’re living at the moment. The problem is that we’re conditioned to feel that failure is bad so many times we just don’t try in case it doesn’t work.
But, as Anais Nin said, ‘life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage’. If you knew your life could expand, how much more courageous would you want to be?
Courage is a habit so get in the habit of being more courageous.
For me, courage isn't a lack of fear. It is about being aware that you’re afraid of something and still doing it anyway It isn’t about big flamboyant displays of bravery but about the small choices and decisions we make on a daily basis. Choosing the more difficult, more fearful route despite your thoughts holding you back. You can choose to do this.
Fear is after all just chemicals flooding your brain. Do you know more about yourself then these chemicals? Instead, do something that engages your prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain that deals with reason). This means you’re effectively distracting yourself from the fear by say reading or working.
In order to be more courageous start small. If you’re given the option of 2 things and one is slightly more daunting, why not try it. This applies to decisions as well.
Be aware of when you’re afraid. You can take your thoughts around it and re-label them. For example, ‘I’m afraid’ becomes ‘I’m having a thought that I’m afraid’ and repeat this to yourself
Notice when you’re afraid to do something. You’re probably already making courageous decisions on a daily basis, you just weren’t aware of it. So congratulate yourself more on these occasions.
If you’re still holding back, picture an image of someone you admire and channel how they would act. Ask yourself, what would he/she/they do in this situation? Would they say no to this?
Embracing your fears and letting them go can be incredibly powerful. We all deserve to live that expanded life.