Think for a second, about you’re daily courage. Is it training to climb up your next mountain? Is it getting the kids off to school and arriving to work on time? Or is it simply getting out of bed every morning? We all have an area in our life that we need a little courage to get through. Sometimes all the extreme things you see on the internet look incredibly courageous, but I’m here to argue that your everyday life is courageous too. Showing up is courageous, being present is courageous, taking care of yourself is courageous, saying no is courageous. Too often we don’t give ourselves credit for the simple acts of courage. This is reminder to do so and an opportunity to give others a pat on the back for their acts of courage.
One of the most courageous moments of my early life came when my dad’s gambling habit forced him to be unable to pay the mortgage on our home. My older brother and I had moved out of our house, but my mom and our two younger brothers lived their and the bank was about to foreclose. I received my first credit card in the mail and I could’ve taken out a cash advance to help pay a month or two of the debt. My dad said he would do everything to get back on track. I told him I would do it as long as he sought help, went to Gambler’s Anonymous meetings, and immediately handed his paycheck over to my mom. He wouldn’t do it. He didn’t have the courage to come clean. I didn’t give him the money, the house was foreclosed on, and my parents rented until they passed away.
That was one of the toughest days of my life. I had to muster the courage to confront my dad, possibly pay his mortgage and bail out my family. I was barely 18 years old. That makes some of the other experiences I’ve had seem easy comparatively. The point is to share with you a tough moment in my life. That moment was training. It was training to dig deep into my soul and confront as opposed to avoid. It was a moment that I was able to conjure up the courage and do something great. The results might not have been ideal, but I’m very proud of my actions.
Here are a few ways I exercise my courage:
Be consistent. It doesn’t take a genius to know that things get easier with practice. Strength comes from training and courage is like a muscle. You have to move into the fear in order to conquer it. So often people let the fear get the best of them. They give up on their dreams and settle for less. There is no need to do that. I know that times will be tough, but that’s the point. Life if never about what happens to us, it’s all about how we deal with what happens to us. You must find a way to consistently conquer your fears.
Take small bites. Sometimes we get bogged down by fear and overwhelm, it’s completely understandable. In order to take down the mountain of fear we have to take one step at a time. For instance, if weight loss is your goal, it needs to happen one meal at a time. If a marathon is your goal, it needs to be one step at a time. You get the idea, whatever it is for you, make sure you let go of the overwhelming issue and start with the small action steps you can take.
Finally, acknowledge your setbacks. This came up in a recent talk I gave and I wanted to make sure I include it here. How do you deal with setbacks? My answer is that we must go into the setback and learn from it before we move on, otherwise we wind up repeating the same mistake. I’m sure you know someone who dates the same kind of girl or guy and they just simply can’t learn the lesson. It takes courage to go into the setback, learn the lesson, even though it’s going to be painful, and then move forward. That’s when you move forward with wisdom and knowledge from experience. It’s no coincidence that older generations are wiser than younger folks without experience. Make yourself a little wiser by learning from your experience.
I’m always here to help along the way. Send me a message @teddymcdonald and I’m happy to chat. Until then, may your life be full of love, laughter, peace, and adventure!
Originally published on the author’s website.
Photo credit: flickr.com/vandandesai