I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
- Nelson Mandela
Life is full of challenges and hardships that can either knock us down or make us even stronger - it is completely up to us to decide which of the two will be true for us. However, in order to successfully face any obstacle that comes our way, there is one thing that is crucial, one thing that determines whether we will give up or fight and conquer - and that is courage.
It takes courage to rise back up again when we fall down.
It takes courage to stand up for what we believe in.
It takes courage to be who we are no matter what others say.
Dive into the unknown
Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore. - Andre Gide
Have you ever noticed that the moments when you feel the most alive usually happen when you do the things that terrify you the most - when you overcome your fears, step out of our comfort zone, take a leap of faith and simply dive into the unknown?
While living a comfortable life with a steady daily routine can help us feel less stressed and more secure, we can quickly become overly consumed by the coziness of such a risk-free life, potentially making us feel numb, bored and purposeless.
So, if we have not woken up with excitement for what’s to come for a while now, it might be good to check if we have been living inside of our comfort zone for too long, avoiding situations and opportunities that could make our lives richer and more fulfilling. If you feel like that might be happening to you, the only thing left to do is to find the courage to start experiencing them.
Finding courage in the face of fear
Without fear there cannot be courage. - Christopher Paolini
Fear is an evolutionary response that developed to successfully protect us from real-life dangers like meeting a lion. Nowadays, we are rarely in such life-threatening situations, but the lion can appear in many other forms - a public speech in front of a large audience, our screaming boss on a monday morning or a job interview for a position we would love but feels way out of our league.
When faced with any kind of such challenging situations, it is normal to feel scared or anxious. The important thing is to not get lost in all of those feelings and thoughts, letting them completely overwhelm us. It is in that moment when we have to decide whether we will wallow in our insecurities and doubt or courageously face the situation head on.
When tough feelings come, it is definitely not advisable to just deny them or push them away as they are actually powerful indicators that something important is going on. It is better to give the feelings space to show themselves, allow ourselves to feel them and accept them just as they are, being aware of the fact that they are only temporary.
Feelings can actually make us even more powerful, if we learn how to handle them. Fear, for example, holds a lot of energy as the body is getting pumped, preparing to fight or flight a risky situation, so we can use its energy to face our obstacles with even more momentum and strength - like it was once used to successfully face a lion.
However, if we see our fearful and anxious thoughts overpowering us and steering us in the direction of running away from the situation, it is best to take a moment to breathe and pragmatically reevaluate our situation, asking ourselves the following question:
By taking the time to assess the situation we are in, we are able to see our emotions and thoughts from a more objective viewpoint, possibly making them far less intimidating than they seemed when they were overwhelming us completely.
What good are wings without the courage to fly? - Atticus Finch
Life is always going to be filled with challenging situations - but it is up to us to decide if we’ll just let them bring us down or courageously face them, seeing them as an opportunity to make our lives even more fulfilled and happier in the process. As the mighty Sir Winston Churchill said: “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”
Because facing any situation that comes our way with courage may take some getting used to at first, the beautiful InsideOut Courage Bracelet is here to remind you that you are brave, strong and capable of anything you set your mind to. When you start to get overwhelmed by any stressful life situation, the bracelet is going to encourage you to keep your head up, put your game face on and courageously tackle any challenge that comes your way.
One of the most amazing exercises for developing courage is doing one thing that scares you everyday. That can mean anything from going skydiving, standing up for yourself or talking to a stranger. By doing this practice continuously, you will soon see the effects of rising courageousness, helping you become more experienced, successful and happy, while at the same time setting an amazing example for others who are still struggling with leading a life of courage.
One day or Day one. You decide.