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Exercise Courage and Benefit in 12 Ways



By Sandra Ford Walston, The Courage Expert

Courage is about acting from your heart and spirit—from the center of your being—the true identity hidden beneath the false self of the ego. By delving into the heart and spirit of your true identity, you begin to recognize your innate courage as well as the ego’s insidious control mechanisms, which capitalize on fear and insecurity. As you recognize the fears that the ego uses to justify its self-importance, you undermine the ego’s power to dominate your life and begin to manifest your true identity. You discover the personal truth within your being and recognize courage as the key to spiritual truth.

Fear Paralyzes the Heart

What percentage of your life is filled with regrets? Regrets represent times when you allow fearful insecurities to undermine the courageous choice. Recognizing regrets, you can cultivate courage and trust that going for it is better than dying without it. This is the difference between heart and mind. Learning to stay centered in the present may not banish fear or blame, but you will diminish the tendencies that keep you stuck in fear. Fear blocks and paralyzes the heart; therefore, fear blocks courage. Slowing down puts you in touch with reality—your own issues—releasing you from inner tyranny of fear-based habits and scripts, uncovering a deep set of self-actuating principles. In The Gift of Change, Marianne Williamson writes: “We are lifted from weak to strong; we are lifted from lack to abundance; we are lifted from pain to peace; we are lifted from fear to love. None of this happens in an instant, but over time, through the daily process of living.”

Many contemplative practices can help initiate this transformative process—sacred reading, chanting, Tai Chi, hiking, a silent retreat. Any choice that moves you beyond words and thoughts and into the inner silence of the heart enables the fears created by the ego to dissipate. “Within each experience of pain or negativity is the opportunity to challenge the perception that lies behind it, the fear that lies behind it, and to choose to learn with wisdom. The fear will not vanish immediately, but it will disintegrate as you work with courage. When fear ceases to scare you, it cannot stay,” says Gary Zukav in The Seat of the Soul. The stillness found in contemplation provides a maturity to your inner experience thereby accelerating your spiritual courage.

Courage Cradles Your Actions

Fear is a man-made creation—just like slavery, apartheid, and poverty. The dualistic concept of fear versus courage keeps you stuck within the mental limitations of ego. When you claim your courage, you begin to experience the heart and spirit truth that transcends the duality of the mind. In recognizing transcendent truth, you begin to see that fear is simply an illusion used by the ego to maintain its position of control, and this recognition dissolves fear, allowing love to fill your heart. This is the experience of “dying to self.”

As courage consciousness matures in your life, you’ll notice huge shifts in your perspective about fear. You will find courage cradles your actions, allowing you to validate the choice of courage consciousness over attachments that trigger life’s unwanted fears. Soon, with an inner gaze, you discover that there is courage in the midst of fear. It is found in the simplicity of being quietly centered in God’s light, and that takes courage! In the Bible (Ezra 10:4), we read: “Rise up; This matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.”

Courage Bestows 12 Benefits

When you can act with courage in your life and work, you experience 12 benefits:

Courage enables you to spread your wings and be all that you can be. When you are driven by courage-fueled energy, you magnify your spirit’s fulfillment. Courage is an antitoxin that you can apply to setbacks, hurts or duties. Courage gives you permission to express your individuality and stop others from clipping your wings!

Courage empowers you to exit bad situations quickly. Your courage mindset enables you to embrace the courage opportunities you face. You’re no stranger to your courage. You may feel unjustly punished when you stand in your courage, but courage provides the inner strength to rise above the “victim” mindset. Your actions become consistently balanced with your courage consciousness.

Courage sustains you to design a life of few regrets. Your courage-centeredness defines your intentions. Each step is an achievement. When you leave this life, you want to be able to say and feel in your heart, “I have no regrets. I faced my challenges with faith and courage.” When you remain deeply consistent with your intentions, you can reach for the rainbow!

Courage requires you to hold yourself 100 percent accountable for your choices. You can design your life mosaic and live in the vibration of your true Self. With courage, humility and gratitude merge to dissipate all illusions of self-importance.

Courage competencies expand as you step up the ladder called life. Stepping up reinforces your reservoir of courage, which sustains you until you’re ready to take the next exciting step. That next step may be asking for a tough project—or simply changing your hair color or style. Is your range of courage expanding? Note this Chinese proverb: “He who hesitates before each step spends his life on one leg.” Living in courage is economical—it cuts out myriad missteps.

 

 

Courage differentiates you, defining your “brand value.” The driver behind courage is the meaningfulness of your life. These qualities are portrayed through your convictions. Your courage enables you to reflect. Using reflection, you can learn to be more present to the truth of your personal branding distinction. What is your brand value? Herein lies the courage paradox: stay present, and you will do what is best for you!

Courage guides you to focus on best results. Combining intention with action, courage arms you for success. The power of your spirit illuminates the steps that correlate your success quotient with your courage quotient. Be willing to sacrifice the external world to find your internal world. It takes courage to design your personal blueprint.

Courage is a friend during times of uncertainty or difficult transitions. You need not run from yourself. Your courage permits you to be innately motivated. In courage, your life expresses your heart’s core, reflecting the root meaning of the word courage: “heart and spirit.” Does your life express your heart, your core, your courage? With courage, you can say an absolute “yes” to whatever happens in your life.

Courage enables you to declare your intent and develop your success. Your self-esteem supports you during demanding times. Hard decisions come alive in the questions, not the answers. Questions inspire actions. See events as opportunities rather than sources of anxiety. Wisdom often dawns in the midst of pain, providing words of encouragement that should be shared with others. Success is not elusive, and courage is not a barrier to a happy life. Both are venues for your light to shine. What is your definition of success?

Courage propels you to reinvent yourself as often as needed. Conformity is a courage killer. Focus on your accomplishments and maintain a tough measure of accountability. Self-discipline thwarts any mediocrity that might keep you stuck or in anguish. Are you powerfully passionate about who you are? Nothing is more valuable than deepening your sense of who you are. Self-reflection is the key to self-fulfillment.

Courage allows you to stand in your dignity. You don’t need to manipulate situations. You know that storms will enter your life, but they offer opportunities for an honest assessment of your vulnerabilities. How frequently do you witness a mea culpa? Courage supports you to delve beyond your ego’s old behavioral scripts to uncover emotional pain and rewrite those scripts. Only you can stop the suffering created by your ego.

Courage advances your voice. When you confront an uncomfortable truth, the essence of your authentic courage comes to light, and you claim this energy. In Latin, virtue means energy. Is courage your unsung hero? Courage is the gift that lifts your spirit.

 

 

Sandra Ford Walston is known as The Courage Expert and innovator of StuckThinking™. She’s an organizational effectiveness/learning consultant, speaker, corporate trainer and a courage coach, specializing in understanding courage behaviors, courage leadership and individual personality and leadership styles that focus on the tricks and traps of the human condition. She is qualified to administer and interpret the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and is a certified Enneagram teacher. Sandra is the internationally published author of bestseller, COURAGE, and she has been published in magazines such as “Chief Learning Officer,” “Training & Development” and “Strategic Finance.” Visit www.SandraWalston.com or e-mail Sandra@SandraWalston.com.

 

 



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