Courage may be the world’s most under-appreciated character trait. It’s like a mountain you wear on the inside. Fierce winds may blow, snow may pile deep around you, the air may grow thin in your lungs, and yet you find the inner strength to carry on with relative grace and composure.
Courage does not belong only to heroes and daredevils and you need not survive a great tragedy before you claim it for yourself. Every day living provides ample opportunity to put courage to use in meaningful ways.
It takes courage to look people steadily in the eye and see who they really are. Mountains don’t wince when the winds blow and the skies fall, and neither must you, if you choose to exercise your courage.
It takes courage to know yourself deeply and then be that self reliably. Mountains don’t hide or move aside for peer pressure. They stand firm, rooted in the power of heart, in the conviction that living fully and genuinely is better than blending in to avoid attention.
It takes courage to stare down your hidden fears and push through the discomfort that growth often brings with it. Just as mountains rise slowly as tectonic plates clash deep below earth’s surface, you march steadily forward, determined to eventually reach your highest heights.
At first, courage takes effort, but in time, with practice, as your courage grows stronger, as you learn by experience that things eventually work out for the best, then all fears fade away and, ironically, when your courage grows strongest, you seem to need it the least.
Courage is a key element that supports your healing and growth. Some people never grow because they lack the courage to face discomfort and subconscious fears, while others would exercise it more if they only understood.
For example, people who understand that fear is designed to empower you are better able to harness the fight or flight mechanism that improves performance when you need it most.
The rapid heartbeat and elevated blood pressure, the increased blood flow to the muscles and brain, the dilated eyes to let in more light, all these make you more powerful than ever and turn uncomfortable fear to thrilling, unforgettable excitement. Thus a simple act such as asking for a raise or telling someone you love them first wakes you up and makes you feel truly, satisfyingly alive.
If you don’t know that fear empowers, you may instead freeze. While this reflex may help animals to go unnoticed by passing predators, it rarely returns the optimal results in human interactions.
Discomfort itself is another useful emotion – as long as you face it with courage. It often points out your weaknesses, your fears and wounds, and other areas that stand in need of repair.
If someone happens to annoy you, for example, then slow down and look more closely. 98% of the time, you’ll discover that the annoyance comes from inside yourself, that the other merely triggered that hidden part of you which, if repaired, would allow you to live with greater peace and productivity.
Once you begin your healing journey, you will stir up more of these uncomfortable triggers as they rise, as if from a retreating glacier, to the surface where they can be addressed.
If you begin to climb the mountain of wholeness, you’d better bring some courage along with you, because there’s no turning back. Once you begin to expose your deep wounds and subconscious protections, they will pester you until you work your way through them and put them behind you forever.
On a happier note, as the summit comes within view, you will discover that your legs have grown stronger. Your lungs have adapted to the thin atmosphere and your capacity to thrive has increased. Where you once cradled hurts and anxiety, you now experience a new lightness, joy and relief that makes the entire climb worthwhile
If you would like a guide to help you scale the mountain, if you would appreciate a ski lift to speed your ascent, then please contact us and we will be excited to join you in your personal epic journey toward empowerment and perfection.