Defined as "mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty," courage is something with which we are all equipped.
We have an endless supply, actually - the trick is learning how to tap into it on command.
Because courage is necessary to face change, and change is necessary for our soul's development during our lifetime, so the more we flex our courage muscle, the better.
Fortunately, opportunities to call upon our own personal stash of the stuff seem to multiply as the years go by.
A couple of years ago I was in Miami for a coaching conference.
The night before it began, there was a little “mixer” in the hotel bar, and in typical Alex fashion, I walked into the huge room full of people I didn’t know, smiled and looked around for about 35 awkward, uncomfortable seconds, then quietly slipped out the door and beelined back to my hotel room, where I immediately put on my pajamas and climbed into bed to read.
No big deal, I figured; large social gatherings where I’m expected to make small talk with complete strangers is a hit or miss scene for me, and that night, it was a miss. It happens.
The next morning, I was recounting the situation with a laugh when something a colleague said stopped me in my tracks, potentially changing the way I show up in my life from here forward:
“But what’s the point if you don’t #participate?”
In my "Non-Scale Victories of Consistent Self-Care" blog post, I provide a comprehensive list of ways to gauge your progress towards a health/wellness goal, and why they are better than stepping on a scale.
Here is that list in a simplified form. Whether you print it out or simply use as reference, I encourage you to spend a few moments contemplating each item and making note where you are at before you begin any new undertaking or challenge or change in diet or increase in movement. Then, use the same list throughout and after your challenge to see how far you've come!
Directions: on a scale from 1-10, with 1 being "Excellent/Not a Problem Whatsoever," 5 bring "Average/Sometimes an Annoyance," and 10 being "Ugh, this is a Daily Source of stress/anxiety/embarrassment/frustration and I'm OVER IT," rate the following considerations before and after your program to measure your progress on your health and wellness continuum.
I am a planner.
I love making a plan - I enjoy creating a vision of an ideal outcome, and then considering all of the necessary components for reaching said outcome.
I find it pleasing to strategize, satisfying to ponder.
I like hammering out logistics, thinking through eventualities, factoring in best practices and creating a clear way to Get. It. Done.
I also find comfort in having a plan in place, in knowing there’s an intentional path at the ready, specifically designed to lead me directly to my desired result.
I like how plans can unite people, allowing them to rally around a common cause or work together towards a common goal.
I use plans to wring excess worry out of a situation and create a buffer around the anxiety of having to navigate brand new or historically uncomfortable circumstances.
But here’s the thing about plans - they are truly only valuable when they inspire actual and consistent #action.