How To Cultivate Courage.

Courage is an essential part of growth and I believe growth to be one of the key requirements for happiness.

We often confuse courage with ‘being a hero’. Courage isn’t a once in a lifetime event like rescuing a family from a fire or some other way of  putting our own lives at risk. Hopefully you will never need to do these things, but does that mean you can’t be courageous?

No. Courage comes from the small decisions and choices we make every day.

Courage is;

Asking for help when you need it

Being able to say ‘I don’t know’

Letting people know how you really feel instead of responding with your usual ‘I’m fine’

Choosing the option that is right for you especially when it is not the popular one

Knowing and accepting that there is nothing at all wrong with being afraid

Saying ‘I love you’,  ‘I miss you’ or ‘I need you’ when you are unsure of the response

Following your heart when your head is telling you otherwise

Putting something out there before you’ve perfected it

Giving up the excuses, complaints and justifications that hold you back

Saying ‘no’ or ‘yes’ and putting your needs first

Following your dreams

Getting out of bed and showing up

Taking a step forward, no matter how small

Saying hello to a stranger on the street or sending a thank you letter

Wearing the outfit you’ve got stuck in the back of the wardrobe because you are never sure whether it’s appropriate

Choosing play before work, rest before housework

Allowing yourself to take the easy option or the difficult option whichever is best in the moment

Owning your space, time and life

Turning off the computer and talking to the person next to you

Crying when you’re sad, laughing out loud and allowing yourself to be angry when something pisses you off

Walking into a room full of strangers and saying hello

 Making the appointments you need, the ones that scare you and showing up

Setting your standards, establishing your boundaries and sticking to then as best you can

It’s having the confidence to accept how your life is and let go of your expectations of what life should look like

Giving up the comfort foods that are making you unwell

Risking being laughed at and being able to laugh along

Ordering a different menu item, trying a different restaurant or visiting a new place

Not knowing the answers but trying something anyway

Trusting that you will find a way, you will solve the problems

We are given hundreds of opportunities a day to practice courage and honestly at times I think rescuing somebody from a fire may be easier than giving up chocolate.  Courage is relative to you, not somebody else’s experience.

Do you believe that you are courageous? What ways do you practice courage, let us know in the comments below.

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Speak Your Truth Tuesday

Roof1

A few weeks ago I was playing a game of Snakes and Ladders with my daughter. Inside the box there was a piece of paper describing the origins of the game. I found the information really interesting and wanted to share what I’d discovered. I didn’t tell anyone though because I kept thinking that it was something everyone already knew and that I was silly for not knowing too.

The mind can be so mean!

So I thought I would share it here.

Snakes and Ladders is an ancient Indian game based on religious teachings. The ladders represent ‘virtues’ such as generosity, faith and reliability. The snakes represent ‘vices’ such as lust, greed, anger, murder and theft. The game teaches that by taking virtuous action we move forward in life faster and by taking action that aren’t virtuous then we move backwards in life.

The number of ladders is less than the number of snakes as a reminder that a path of good is much more difficult to tread than a path of sins.

I saw Snakes and Ladders in a whole new light. Until a few weeks ago it was just a simple game to play that really didn’t mean much.

Now I implement it’s concepts into my own life. There are actions that I know will move me closer to my goals and actions that will move me further away. My goal setting has become simpler, much like the game itself.

Is there anything you have ever been afraid to say because you thought it was too obvious, or you should know it already? Please share in the comments below.