GOOD MORNING MONDAY – AFFIRMATIVE THOUGHTS FOR A GREAT WEEK
Good Morning. It is Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. Life is amazing, fascinating, beautiful, jaw-dropping, complicated, ever-changing, etc., and I could go on and on with numerous characteristics. None of our lives are smooth, following a straight path that leads from Point A to Point B with no hiccups along the way. To that I say, “Thank Goodness”, because if life were like that, we would be bored to tears!!
Your life is a journey. A journey that brings many ups, downs, twists and turns. A journey like in the Robert Frost poem that provides many roads to follow; some more traveled, some less traveled. Nonetheless, whichever you pick makes the difference for you. Whichever road you choose at any given moment can bring you into unchartered territory. But, do not get panic stricken with the new. Affirm that all will be well and know that the path(s) you take and the things you learn along the way are part of the puzzle that will bring you to your promised land.
As you traverse along the road of your life, one of the trusted companions that you should bring with you to help and guide you is “Courage”. Courage is a psychological muscle that you can develop so that it becomes stronger and stronger. Courage is not something that one person can have and another cannot. We all can build the courage muscle in our life. Courage can help you live a fulfilling life amidst the challenges that life can throw your way.
Courage is the mental and emotional preparedness to deal with difficult, challenging circumstances. It gives you the ability to confront pain, fears, uncertainty, etc. It is through the continuous development of courage, you empower yourself to confront challenges head on and gain skills to deal with life’s twists and turns. Everyday living requires courage if you are going to live a happy, healthy, fulfilling life.
Courage is something that everyone wants. You have heard many stories of courage throughout your life whether it be the story of David fighting the giant Goliath, the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz who, in the end, has the courage to face the witch, or Harry Potter fighting Voldemort.
There are different types of courage ranging from physical strength and endurance to mental stamina and innovation. The attributes and quotes below demonstrate different ways in which courage can be defined (Adapted from The Six Attributes of Courage, Melanie Greenberg, PhD). Choose which attribute(s) and quote(s) resonate with you as you begin to reflect on and work to increase your “courage muscle”.
Feeling Fear Yet Choosing to Act.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear; but the triumph over it. The brave person is not the one who does not feel afraid, but the one who conquers that fear,” - Nelson Mandela.
Following Your Heart.
“And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. You somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary,” - Steve Jobs - Stanford Commencement Speech, June 2005.
Persevering in the Face of Adversity.
“It is not the size the dog in the fight; it is the size of the fight in the dog,” -Mark Twain.
Standing Up for What is Right.
“Speak your mind even if your voice shakes,” -Maggie Kuhn.
Expanding Your Horizons – Let Go of the Familiar.
“You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore,” - Lord Chesterfield.
Facing Suffering With Dignity or Faith.
“The ideal person bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of the circumstances,” - Aristotle.
Being courageous does not mean that you must be doing something astounding or heroic. Courage can be found in overcoming day to day challenges you encounter that need to be conquered so that you can meet your goals. Here are some characteristics that you can incorporate into your day to day life that can help you strengthen your courage muscle:
Acknowledge and understand that courage is not the absence of fear. Even the most courageous person experiences fear and trepidation. It is, “being scared to death, but saddling up anyway,” - John Wayne.
Muster up the willingness to be courageous. Before you can acquire a habit or trait you must have a desire to do so.
Start small; but start somewhere: Step out of your comfort zone. It can seem daunting, but start with something small, (i.e., speak up with your friends if that is not something that is normal for you; speak up in a meeting; offer suggestions, opinions). It may feel awkward at first, but it gets easier with practice. You will find that you will slowly build your courage by doing things that you normally shy away from.
Develop faith and confidence. A big part of having courage is having faith in yourself and having faith that in the end things will work out. This type of confidence comes from maintaining a positive attitude and visualizing a favorable outcome. A courageous mindset is the product of faith, self-confidence and positive thinking.
Life gives us many opportunities and new doors to open each day, if only you have the courage to open them. Do not live your life to the tune of one radio station; mix it up! Enjoy the new and different. Forge new pathways. Do not doubt yourself.Do not fear what is around the corner. Look curiously and courageously into the eyes of change.
Courage can take many forms. “Courage does not have to “ROAR”; sometimes it is the voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again, tomorrow,” – Mary Anne Rademacher. Those who do nothing at all make no mistakes; but that would be a mistake. Open new doors to your life; and there is a high probability that it will be better than it was before 😊!
Have a great week. Take Care.