If Only I Had a Heart
"But I could show my prowess, be a lion, not a mou-ess, if I only had the nerve,"
- Lion, Wizard of Oz.
Courage and fear are not opposites. They are bedfellows. Uncertainty and vulnerability are on the bottom bunk. Courage and fear are on the top. Not only do they coexist, but they also bolster one another.
Last week I summoned up the courage to tell a group of women a part of my wellness journey that no one knows about. Not even my closest friends. I did it for a number of reasons.
One is that you can't heal what you won't acknowledge. And I need to heal this part of me. Two is to walk the talk.
I ask my clients all the time to get in touch with their vulnerability, have the courage to express it, and imagine how to move through their fear to get to a better place. How can I ask that if I'm not doing that myself? If I'm hiding behind a veneer of 'got it all together'?
Third, I hoped it would encourage the women in the group to continue to be courageous in their own lives.
It was a big risk.
I was scared.
I was vulnerable.
I risked their opinion of me.
I lost my composure in the middle.
And I was brave.
The fear was real. The unknown was real. But I did it anyhow. The outcome wasn't in my hands. But the courage was.
And it was healing.
So, what does courage have to do with wellness?
A whole lot...
Remember the Wellness Wheel? Which of these categories might require the courage to improve them? If you guessed all of them, you are correct. I can rattle off a whole bunch that come to mind right away: asking for a raise, honoring boundaries, trying a new self-care routine or activity, working on a difficult relationship, saying sorry, dropping perfectionism, pursuing a new career, creating a family budget, saying 'No', respectfully living by your values while honoring others for doing the same. I could go on...
So what happens when we don't act courageously? What happens when we let fear become a guiding principle instead of a sidekick? To live in fear means
giving up life in vivid color. We stay stuck.
We don't progress.
Courage allows us to live authentically. Living in courage provides some of the richest opportunities we have to grow, create joy, and feel fulfilled. Acting in courage builds our confidence in a profound way, regardless of the outcome.
If there is one thing the world needs right now it's genuine courage. The world needs you to show up fully. Not a shadow of yourself. And not a knock-off of someone else you know.
Your mind, body, and soul also need you to be courageous. Figure out what area/s of your life will benefit from a little more courage on your part. Get curious about the steps required to make progress happen. Create a plan.
Then acknowledge fear, tip your hat to it, and move courageously into your life.