Courage: trying new things

word of month character

Lets be honest with ourselves and I will put myself out there now and be honest in a public way.  Most of us like being where we are comfortable.  Now it is hard to hear but when we are talking about trying new things or doing things differently than we are used to, it can be difficult to get out of our ‘comfort zone’.  It works just like our heat and air conditioner thermostat at home works.  When we get to warm the a/c comes on, when we get to cold the heat comes on.  We want to feel perfectly comfortable.

Unfortunately though, if we are to grow in the level of performance in our world, we cannot continue to adjust the internal thermostat so we can get back into our comfort zone.  Now my personal honesty.  I am not in my most comfortable place in a new place with a big crowd of people I do not know.  I freeze up, I just know that I do not have anything to say that is of interest to anyone and I am just as happy to sit on the side and let others enjoy themselves.  In the mean time though I want so badly to be a part of the lively conversations.  Whew I am glad I got that out.

In fact that is one  of the most important things that we can do.  Say our fear out loud and recognize it for what it is.  It is simply a belief that we have developed for ourselves that we recreate, and then confirm by doing the same thing over and over again.  So how do we get out of comfort zone and make the changes we want to make so badly?

We must change our behavior.  We must allow ourselves to practice what we fear the most.  Put on your best positive attitude, change your physiology, bring your energy level and enthusiasm up and and make the conscious decision to not allow past beliefs and fears to determine who you are or want to be.  Our fear of rejection, failure or losing face is keeping us from being who we really want to be. 

There are very few things left in the world that have not already been done or accomplished.  Find someone who has done what you want to do and ask them how they did it and then do what they did and I am sure that you will have similar results – if you keep at it.  Change the way you talk to yourself.  The negative things that we say to ourselves, we would never say to a friend.  Treat yourself like you would treat your friends.

Both children and adults can use their courage to try new things and meet new people or any other thing that is on the list of, this is out of my comfort zone.  As parents we have the challenge and the responsibility to help our kids to take risks even when it is scary.  Role playing and creating safe situations for them to practice courage are good ways to let them see that they can recreate the images in their head and move forward.  As parents though lets set the example for them and be sure to talk to them about when we are not comfortable and how we are using courage to create a better life for ourselves.

Courage: getting beyond fear

word of month character

Elanor Roosevelt, one of my favorite people of all time, once said; “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”

There are 3 things according to Jack Canfield, author of Success Principles,  that stop us from doing what we know we should do or even want to do.  They are; considerations, fears and roadblocks.  I am not going to talk about the considerations or roadblocks right now, but I do know that fear is something that all of us feel probably everyday even if we do not identify it as fear.  While fear is a good thing in many circumstances, when we allow it to get in the way of achieving our goals, it no longer is serving us in a positive manner.

Much of what we fear is made up in our imagination and we hold onto to that belief,  image we have in our mind, or the experience we have had far beyond that it may have been true.  Then when we try to achieve a goal that we really want, guess what happens?  The picture comes back in our mind and we retreat to our comfort zone – no matter how much we want to step out and reach our goal. 

This happens to kids and adults.  Funny thing though as adults we have ways of hiding behind our fears.  Many times that is called, procrastination.  That is another subject all together.  What kind of attitude do we need if we are going to get beyond our fears?  We need to have a positive attitude with energy and enthusiasm.  We need to break out of the prison that we are held in, one that has been largely created by ourselves of what we can’t do and all the reasons that is true, and focus on the the way we want to be.  As we create the image of our success in our mind and feel it in our body, this can become our new reality.

Albert Einstein said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”  This month we will continue to examine courage and how we can develop this characteristic as we face our fears and challenges with determination.