Finding time requires you to act with clarity and assertiveness every day in big and small ways. So it helps to remember that courage can be cultivated on a daily basis.
And just like getting into shape, cultivating your courage is a step-by-step process. Each effort you invest provides a base for your next step. Looked at that way, each step is a triumph!
So, as with any big goal, remind yourself that courage is usually gradually acquired, not dramatically seized.
Courage is flexible, too. You grow best when you accept setbacks, correcting your course as needed. And because courage brings you face to face with the unknown, you can expect surprises. So, build in time to accommodate them.
Here’s a simple exercise to help you become better acquainted with your courage:
- When you call upon yourself to meet a promising challenge, how do you experience this in your body?
- Do you feel a warmth or coolness?
- Are you breathing smoothly or braced?
- If you inflate yourself with confidence, only to quickly deflate, try a fresh approach.
- As a Tibetan maxim goes, “Rest the fearful mind in the cradle of compassion.”
- Humility and receptivity allow you to accept knee-jerk resistance and to gradually overcome it.
Accepting a measure of discomfort is most helpful as you grow beyond your comfort zone. Play the edge of your discomfort in small ways, as a daily exercise. As this becomes easier, you will feel more resolute when gazing up at the next learning curve.
© Copyright 2012 Paula Eder, Ph.D.