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Courage, motivation and action-taking: how to move forward

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It takes deep courage to live up to your potential from a place of authenticity. Most of us are afraid of how we might alienate others if we chase our dreams. We are simultaneously afraid of failure and success.

But in your commitment to moving forward and growth, I encourage you to use courage to drive your motivation. You will be rewarded by living in alignment with the best version of yourself you could be.

Courage to live the life of your dreams:

If you want to change the terms of your life, you will need to drum up courageous action and move forward. Living your best life requires moving forward despite the fear.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. E.E. Cummings, courageous, authentic, be authentic, living authentically, alignment
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
E.E. Cummings

Don’t get me wrong – you don’t want to use dumb courage. Allow compassion to soften your courage: for yourself, not just for others.  The invitation to courage is one lead by inner wisdom: courage that is both compassionate and creative.

Knowing your Heart’s Desires:

If you don’t have clarity on what you want to create, it won’t be easy to find the courage to take action consistently. You won’t benefit from the waves of motivation that sweep you along easily.

Courage to take action:

To drum up courage, you might consider starting with the heart: what is it that you desire to create? How important and valuable is this to you? Do your plans and goals align with your values?

Once you have done the inner work:

  • identifying your values;
  • embodying your heart’s desires;  and
  • creating goals and breaking them down into a plan

Then you can look at moving into action. When you put your plans into motion, you will start to get results. You might find that some of the actions don’t have the expected results. At that moment, you will need the courage to review your plans and recalibrate. In some cases, you will need to create new plans without giving up on your heart’s desires or values.

Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you. Bethany Hamilton
Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.
Bethany Hamilton

Taking action on your plans and goals is a process that goes hand-in-hand with facing your fears. You will not need to wait to feel courageous. Instead, you drum up the courage “from your loins” by moving forward. As you do this, your courage will grow.

Taking Action on your Goals Consistently:

If you want to feel courageous, then take consistent action despite the obstacles or challenges you face. As you choose to take steps all the time, you will find yourself overcoming your fears more easily.  It becomes less stressful to be outside your comfort zone and using your gut to move you forward.

You will need to plan out the necessary steps, even if the only step you know is the next right step forward. It’s not always possible to know the big picture, but you are more likely to take action if you have a clear path for your next step.

Courage builds up the motivation with us. While our desires might motivate us with a large flaming fire, it is the fire in your belly of courage that will truly move you forward.

Motivation Drives you Forward:

Think of motivation as paddling with the waves to get to a beach. Each time the wave hits you, it drives you forward. But if you fail to paddle between the waves, you can also get pulled backwards by the currents.

So, while you are waiting for the next wave of motivation to hit, keep paddling courageously! Allow yourself to be pulled towards your goals and passions by your consistent action.

Rather than allow fear to push you away from whatever pain you are trying to avoid, allow your desires and motivation to pull you in the direction of your authentic self.

Motivated to Create Opportunities:

When you live as your authentic self, you will find yourself motivated to create opportunities.  These might be moments to spend quality time with those that you love. Perhaps it’s merely the opportunity to create treasured memories or moments of your own, where you feel complete freedom and joy.

Most importantly, the awareness you create when you face your fears with courage opens up the possibility of creativity and playful exploration.  Rather than being driven by feelings of stress, fear and anxiety, you can become curious about possible outcomes in your decision-making process.

With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity. Mark Twain quotes, compassionate courage, wise courage, wise compassion, creative courage
With courage, you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.
Mark Twain

As you listen to your deep inner wisdom, you will understand the difference between legitimate self-preservation needs and procrastination.  Look at the opportunities around you to take action, even small steps.

Taking Action:

The crux of courage is that taking action builds confidence and trust in yourself. The more you keep your promises and your word (to yourself), the greater your trust in your own inner wisdom.  This awareness of the connection between desires, expectations, and action will lead you into taking more small steps forward.

As you take action, you create more inner peace and a growing sense of self-worth.  Taking action is what creates certainty within your heart and mind.  You can truly be yourself when you are certain you will keep your word.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of taking action is that you begin to attract like-minded people into your life. Your fears of losing people may well be valid: you will leave some people behind as you move on. But you will also be rewarded with a new sense of belonging as your choices build new relationships and a network around you.

There is a special beauty in having deeper conversations about what truly matters to you: and as you learn to “know thyself”, you will build new connections and relationships. These richer relationships will allow you to feel fully supported: but be prepared for the fears that arise as you notice relationships dropping away.

Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others. Roy T. Bennett, courage, courageous, compassion, living authentically
Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.
Roy T. Bennett

 

Courage allows you to push through the fear:

If you are committed to making changes toward living authentically, allow your courage to grow. We talk about people being spineless or growing a backbone. Allow your backbone of courage to grow, and come forward.

As emotions go, fear is typically felt and sensed at the front of the gut. Courage, on the other hand, is something we experience at the back, close to the backbone. So when we talk about “pushing through the fear”, it’s a metaphor for what we are physiologically sensing within. Courage literally pushes through the fear to mobilise us.

If you are looking to thrive, move forward with more action and small steps.

 

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Authentic: how to be your glorious self, not a people pleaser

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I always feel like I walk a thin line between being “nice” and being truly kind. Old me is a burnt-out people pleaser. To be authentic in relationships with people that used to know me before I started this journey is an ongoing lesson! See, with new acquaintances, it’s easier: they have no expectations of what I will be like or how I will express myself.  But in older relationships, I still have to catch myself.

Be authentic!
Stop acting and pretending, stop fawning and being “nice and polite” in socially acceptable ways. Instead, remember to show up as the kinder version of you.

Continue reading Authentic: how to be your glorious self, not a people pleaser

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Wisdom in action: how to know what to do

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While it might seem obvious sometimes, there are many moments in life when we think we know how to tackle a situation, but there’s a sense within us holding us back. Perhaps we feel pressure to conform with the desires, but it doesn’t sit well within. Other times, we want something, but our gut kicks in to say “hold on” without clarifying clearly why we need to take a step back.  Wisdom is more than just “thinking informing action” and “action informing thinking”.

Wise choices incorporate knowledge, experience, and understanding into thinking and action. There’s a sense of compassion and profound self-awareness, which is more than just academic learning or data and information.

Wisdom, the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment, Oxford Languages, definitions
Wisdom is “the soundness of an action or decision about the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment.”

Wisdom in action begins with wise planning:

It starts with creativity and planning, from a place of compassion & self-awareness. Wisdom knows that when you only consider the needs and desires of other people, life becomes empty and meaningless. You find rewards in showing yourself love and support so that you can better support others. Self-compassion is a source of strength, not a weakness.

When we plan what to do, there’s a moment for considering ourselves and other parties that will be impacted. In business, we might refer to these parties as stakeholders. But the reality is that even in our personal lives, any decision and choice we make (even professionally) may impact our relationships. Wisdom is being able to foresee the long-term impact choices might make on our relationships. Then take those factors into account when planning.

Hopes, dreams & values: prioritise your actions

Hopes and dreams are much loftier than goals. Often, they are much longer-term as well. But it’s these hopes and dreams that give us the feeling of “a life well lived”. When our plans overlook these deeply held desires, we begin to feel inauthentic. If we carry this way for too many years, life begins to feel like it has no purpose and meaning.

So, rather than just considering what you think is “a good idea”, inform your planning from your values and what is truly important to you. Make sure that these plans align with that vague picture you have in the mind of your ideal future self, the one that lives in alignment with your hopes, dreams and values.

 Wise planning identifies personal issues of risk, safety & security

Fear stops us and shuts us down on so many levels. It inhibits our ability to think straight. And in some cases paralyses us from taking action. Mindset & willpower will only take us so far. But it can be exhausting to be continually at war within yourself while trying to push forward on a goal.

If you truly want to set goals that you will complete, consider the angle of personal boundaries and your feelings of safety & security in the planning stages. Perhaps the problem to be addressed is not the goal you are chasing but the route to get there. Does your plan allow you to feel safe?

An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied, Arnold Glasow
An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied. Arnold Glasow

When your plan addresses your personal issues of safety and security, you will find it easier to light a fire deep within you to move forward.  Creating safety will allow you to direct your energy towards your protection or activities rather than expend energy on protection and boundaries.

Your inner wisdom expands your sense of self.

When you know what to do and are confident within, it’s because you have a sense of “this is who I am”. It fosters a greater sense of personal power, enhancing your ability to say “yes” to what you want to achieve. This also makes it so much easier to say “no” to all the busy activities and urgencies that arise along the way.

When you aren’t totally sold on the idea, it’s easy to get distracted and busy doing other things. You might know what the plan is, but are you focused on doing what needs to be done? Is all your energy flowing towards this purpose in wise action?

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Wisdom is more than “a good idea.”

It’s easy to teach information, knowledge and processes. Unfortunately, wisdom is not taught in schools or at universities.  It is so much more than thinking, analysis, processing, or even problem-solving.  We can intellectualise without truly understanding.

Even if something is “a good idea”, does that make it a good idea for you? At this moment and stage of your life?  How does this good idea impact those you love and care for?

Does it consider all the knowledge and data available to me about what I want, desire and my life goals? Does it incorporate good judgement of my resources, time constraints and limitations?

Wise compassion

For our plans to succeed, they need to include compassion for ourselves and others.  I like to think of compassion as a breath we take. We cannot exhale more compassion for others than we have inhaled compassion for ourselves.  Likewise, if we’re busy only inhaling compassion for ourselves, we’re going to get light-headed at some stage.

Good planning and execution have both wisdom and compassion. There is such a thing as “dumb compassion” – acting on our feelings without thinking things through.

Wise compassion can see ahead, have insight, plan. Wisdom is not simply taking action without thinking of the short and long-term impact that this will have on ourselves and others. How many people do we see working themselves to the bone – with the wisdom to recognise the need for effective self-care? When illness or chronic disease takes hold, they say, “I should have thought it through better”.

Similarly, we might throw our energies into our careers or businesses, thinking we will make time later for our families. When the family fails to stick together, we recognise the role we played in our absence.

Wisdom sees the pitfalls in a plan, staying alert, and exercising compassion regularly to allocate our energy, time and priorities.

Wise creativity

I sometimes wonder if the inventor of the guillotine regretted his creativity when it was used to behead him.  Or consider Thomas Midgley, who fixed the problem of gasoline’s dependability – by adding lead. He then (without knowing the future consequences or danger) invented freon and CFCs, which we know have a role to play in the hole in the ozone layer.

On the other hand, you might remember the Chinese scientists and planners responsible for killing all the sparrows as a solution to food shortage, which resulted in the largest plague of locusts ever to devastate the grain production of China.

Just because we can do something, should we?

Wise creativity takes into account more than just our creative mind! Without compassion and heart, our mind is no better than the mind of a psychopath or sociopath. It is highly creative and ingenious.  But we need the emotions, wants, desires and compassion of the heart to soften and guide the mind.

Wise creativity will incorporate your hopes, dreams, feelings, and values. It will consider the impact of your relationships and weigh up what is truly important to you.  It takes into account authenticity, safety and security, and potential challenges in the future.

Wise creativity is both realistic and compassionate.

Without knowledge action is useless and knowledge without action is futile, Abu Bakr, taking action, motivation, wisdom
Without knowledge, action is useless, and knowledge without action is futile.

Wise courage

All of this leads us to a place of wise courage: taking action that is aligned with our plans and dreams.  Action without wisdom is foolishness, the same way that action without compassion can be cruel.

Wisdom in action is using both our heart and our mind as guides. It is a deep-seated fire that burns within us, acknowledging our sense of self and creating safety, even while moving the boundaries of our comfort zones. This action-taking is not movement merely for the sake of moving forward, but rather it is directed consciously.

It is embodied wisdom: heart, gut instinct, and mind all working together as one.

get on a call with Beth, introductory call, discovery call

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Do the inner work: how to focus on your feelings

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It’s easy to get caught up trying to focus on change without doing the inner work. We want the quick fix: tell me what I need to do to get the results I’m looking for.

A lot of coaching is performance-based, which is great for short-term goals and wins.  This coaching will often provide you with tools and habits that you can integrate long-term for life changes. However, it’s easy to get the win and then fall back into old habits. This is the difference, in part, between transactional versus transformational coaching.

While the inner work coaching that I do works great for short-term goals and wins, the real benefits are the long term changes that happen as you integrate wisdom into your life.  Continue reading Do the inner work: how to focus on your feelings

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Brutally honest: how about we try being sincere with compassion?

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Professional and personal communication is one of my biggest challenges. As an INTJ, I can be brutally honest, speaking my mind without sensing the effect my words and tone have on others.  I just blurt out what I want to communicate without considering whether it’s the right time or place to do so.

I’ve found I have better skills when I write it all out in an email or written correspondence. But this misses many nuances and can be misunderstood.

At the other end of the spectrum, I clam up when the emotional environment hits like a battering ram. Continue reading Brutally honest: how about we try being sincere with compassion?