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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6 Steps to increasing your risk tolerance

Throughout my life people have often commented on my risk taking abilities. I have been called brave and tenacious, a high level risk taker. The strange thing is that I don’t feel like a risk taker at all. I often … Continue reading

Financial Freedom Friday – The Spaces Between

Photo taken from a holiday in Sweden

Photo taken from a holiday in Sweden

A lesson in Rest and Play

The path to financial freedom usually involves a lot of hard work.

Long hours, difficult decisions, problem solving and taking risks.

It is important to learn that the quality of your work is determined by the quality of the breaks you take.

This quality of your breaks will determine how quickly and smoothly you will travel along your path to financial freedom.

Overworking is easy to do. Just one more hour. Just one more day or week. Then you will take that rest. Something always comes up and the rest and play becomes a last priority, often missed out on altogether.

What can you delegate?

What can you stop doing in order to get some quality rest and play time?

Where can you be more effective in order to create time and space for rest and play?

How do you rest?

What do you do for fun?

What activities take your mind off work completely, even just for a few moments?

Rest and play doesn’t need to take up much time.

Perhaps in between each task you complete you could take five minutes to take a few deep breaths, have a nice cup of tea and enjoy some fresh air.

Without quality breaks, (the type where you aren’t thinking about work and checking your email every 2 minutes) you will never get the time to fully recharge.

As entrepreneurs, business owners or parents it can be so hard to draw a line between work, rest and play.  Whenever I am needing a reminder I think of this poem.

  FIRE ~ Judy Brown

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.

A fire
grows
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

Poem can be found  here

What do you do for fun? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

 

The Power of Rituals and Routines

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The outcome of our lives is determined by the actions we take. These actions are determined by the habits we create for ourselves, both good and bad.

One way to create good habits is by implementing little rituals and routines into our lives.

I resisted the idea of creating routines in my life for years.  I thought that by following routines life would become boring and restricted.

In fact the complete opposite is true. The more routines I create for myself, the more time I have spare to do fun things. The more I follow my routines the more space and time I create.

Rituals and routines can also be comforting in times of stress. They allow our minds to know what is coming next, creating a sense of calm.

I used to spend an entire day doing housework. These days there is no way I could possibly do that. There just isn’t time. So it is important for me to create lots of little routines and rituals that allow me to keep the house clean and tidy to a standard that works for me. It’s far from perfect, but it works.

For example every time I make a cup of tea I have to work on cleaning the kitchen while the kettle is boiling. As I work from home and drink a lot of tea, the kitchen is always clean and I don’t have to worry about finding time to clean it.

Every night before I go to bed I set the washing machine up to start a load of laundry at 4am, ready for me to put out in the morning. It keeps things moving and the washing never seems to pile up.

These are just two of the many simple routines I have  for keeping the house at a level that is suitable for me. I have had a long habit and practice of decluttering too, so that makes things easier to manage.

Attach routines to any goal you are trying to achieve.

I have a problem with a lack of strength in my shoulder due to breaking my collar bone a few years ago.

Whenever I have finished brushing my teeth I work on doing a handstand against the wall outside of our bathroom! This simple habit takes less than 2 minutes a day but is having a huge impact on my health. It’s a fun little routine that is helping me build strength and work towards something that is a little outside of my comfort zone!

The best way to build a routine and a new habit is to keep it simple and attach it to something that you do on a regular basis.

What is your goal?

What is a small action you can take?

How many times a day would you like to do this?

What is something you already do this many times throughout your day?

How can you attach your new step to your old action?

Don’t forget that this is just a simple way to build a new habit and it can take time and practice. This system isn’t designed to give you a new way to feel disappointed in yourself for not doing it right! The goal is never to be perfect. The goal is to build new skills and find what works for you.

Let me know what actions you add to your routine in the comments below

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