Today, we are going to talk about how to be strong and courageous. We are going to talk about the courage to be disliked. We are going to talk about our courageous legacy. But most importantly, why is courage important to lead a life that is TRUE TO US?
Imagine looking at the best version of your life. The kind of life that makes you say, “oh, I’m not bold enough to do that!”, or, “oh, I’m not talented enough to pursue this.” Now remove all of these limiting factors. What do you see? A limitless, powerful you? That’s what I thought.
As a spiritual coach, it is my innate and acquired knowledge that courage, allowance, and compassion are the three most important pillars of spirituality. All of us are spiritual beings having a physical experience, and hence, to be courageous is an unavoidable pillar of this physical experience.
As a society, we typically associate this admirable virtue with those who risk their lives to save others. But inner courage is more difficult to embody, yet more rewarding in our lives.
Take a case, for example, to understand this inner boldness. Reema, a 42-year-old housewife, feels stuck in a marriage. She’s not happy, but also does not think that leaving that marriage is the best decision for her. What does she do?
It takes immense inner courage to navigate a situation like this where she can create a happy home wherever she is. Her inner strength will become her tool to understand how to stay in that marriage, but also be happy. Regardless of the situation, our strength can always be our lamp, if we choose it to be.
In all honesty, living your most spiritual (real) self is also a journey of courage. Nothing compares to the courage it takes to live a life of authenticity; to continue to self-improve despite the Crowd; to refrain from giving up or backing down when one knows they are right, and for the small hour-to-hour decisions that build one’s character. The courage to be disliked while setting strong boundaries will change your life.
One part of my automatic writing workshop is imbibing this very inner boldness I am talking about, because, as I said, I know it to be a very principal tool in spirituality. Our strength, our undauntedness, our boldness, and knowing when to have the courage to be kind to ourselves helps us get through many times. We have times that we think are impossible to get through, like a dark night of the soul. But inner strength is like a lantern.
Why is it important to be courageous?
There is a lot of uncertainty when you first start something. Uncertainty about the conclusion or consequences, uncertainty about the surroundings, uncertainty about whether or not you’ll be able to get the help you need, and uncertainty about how others will react.
As a spiritual coach, I cannot stress enough that unpredictability is an unavoidable part of life. Be it starting a new business, speaking up for your rights, or advancing in your spiritual path. Our mind, on the other hand, frequently reacts with terror. Fears of failure, loss, rejection, and looking silly and alone arise as a result of these uncertainties.
Years of conditioning have led us to be in a fear-based mentality. Only the one who dares can break through these illusions of fear and be bold enough to free themselves of it. While ‘have courage and be kind’ is a great philosophy, sometimes, it takes the courage to be disliked that really matters… that really frees you.
Many Colors Of Courage
- Physical Courage:
This is the most evident shade of courage we witness among people. This kind of courage reflects bravery at the risk of bodily harm or death. You might have seen news of people saving someone’s life by putting their own life at stake. This kind of courage involves physical strength, resiliency, and awareness.
- Social Courage:
Most of us are familiar with social courage because it involves the risk of social disgrace or isolation, as well as disfavor or rejection. It also entails management.
- Intellectual Courage:
Intellectual courage refers to our desire to engage with difficult ideas, examine our assumptions, and take risks. It entails being astute and telling the truth.
- Moral courage:
It entails doing the right thing, especially when there is a danger of embarrassment, disagreement, or other people’s condemnation. We now enter the realm of ethics and integrity, the determination to align one’s words and actions with one’s values and goals. It’s not about who we say we are to our children and others, but about who we really are. Through our words and deeds, we reveal who we are.
- Emotional courage:
This kind of bravery allows us to experience an entire range of good feelings. When we wrestle with concerns about faith, purpose, and meaning, spiritual courage strengthens us in either a religious or non-religious context.
- Spiritual Courage:
There is a lot of hard inner work in walking the path of spirituality and liberating ourselves out of the limited boxes that society has put us in. Amongst many things, it involves facing our fears, accepting our flaws, and allowing ourselves to grow. Each one of these requires inner courage, spiritual courage of sorts.
What is your courageous legacy?
Tools To Bring Courage In Your Life
- Be open to being vulnerable:
People who live in fear frequently have little or no faith in themselves. If you’re fearful of other people seeing who you are, be more vulnerable and open up. But what exactly will this look like? You may think of this as opening up more with your colleagues in work discussions or discussing with family and friends about a trauma you went through as a child.
- Acknowledge your fears:
Acknowledge your anxieties in addition to opening up to people. Journaling is an excellent way to do this exercise. You can write down situations and people that trigger your fears and anxieties, anger even. And, the shift can begin right from there. Identifying your true anxieties provides you with the knowledge to overcome your fears and insecurities.
- Maintain an optimistic mindset:
Allowing others to love and care for you is a part of having a happy attitude. Additionally, you can also practice some affirmations that bring comfort to you. For example, if you feel uncomfortable receiving help, you can affirm “I am worthy of help and kindness”, and so on. Why not even save a favorite one as your phone’s screensaver? This tool is a really practical way of reconditioning our brain towards a positive mindset instead of a fear-based one.
- Experience your own bravery:
Another key aspect of overcoming fear is to experience your bravery. Sometimes, you never know how courageous you can be, until that’s the only option left. If you feel like someone’s in need of your assistance to help them overcome a situation, make a practical plan, and go for it. Besides this, a recreational exercise would be creating a list of every time you’ve felt brave in the past; every time your courage got you through tough periods. Let that list be your daily motivation.
- Get comfortable with risk and uncertainty:
Learning to deal with life’s uncertainties can help you overcome your fears. Set up an emergency savings account if you’re worried about losing your house to foreclosure. Additionally, make space for things to flow in these moments of uncertainty. They’re always here to teach us something. Additionally, you can always reach out to a professional to help you deal with the discomfort of uncertainty.
- Continue to educate yourself:
As Ram Dass eloquently puts it, ” When you know how to listen, everybody is the Guru.” Continue to learn and enhance your talents. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn a new skill. Read the works of thought leaders and learn everything you can about your field. Let go of the “know-it-all” mindset, and invite a beginner’s mindset. Sometimes, courage is all about learning and unlearning.
The more we feed into the energy of fear, the bigger the illusion gets. If you have to expand something, why not expand your consciousness instead of your illusions?
Spiritual coaches help people discover what doesn’t serve them, and patterns that lead to disease and depression. Having the knowledge of their fears and trauma, people can have a chance at releasing what’s holding them back.
If you desire to walk this path of courage and need some professional guidance on your journey, please feel free to reach out. More and more power to you!