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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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How to be aware of your triggers and concealed rewards

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Most of us have emotional triggers that we aren’t aware of until we blow up or “lose it”. These learned responses helped us to survive unpleasant situations (often in our childhood).  Unfortunately, those very habits (cues/triggers, course of action or response, and rewards) that allowed us to survive in childhood now sabotage or hamper our growth and relationships.

I’m not talking about PTSD triggers: those are at another level, where it’s not merely a habit. These triggers actually require deeper assistance, such as therapy.

These habitual responses are survival tactics, often learned in our childhood. I adeptly overlook and sidestep the bigger issues when I ignore the hidden rewards of my habits.  The slowing down of 2020 gave us much needed time to sit and do the inner work of looking at our survival tactics.

Be grateful for triggers: they point where you are not free. -Anonymous
Be grateful for triggers: they point where you are not free. -Anonymous

Even 2021 has shown me (especially on social media) how I respond to certain types of posts and comments. There are people that I have been tempted to block “for my peace of mind”. Nonetheless, my commitment to healing and working on myself continues. So, I decided that rather than block them (or engage or shoot back), I would make time to actually look at where I have lost my freedom to respond gracefully.

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Expect obstacles! Plan for challenges

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There are so many things that stop us from living the life of our dreams, but are you expecting challenges on your journey? When we expect obstacles, foreseeing them – we do a better job of ensuring success and completion!

I’m not talking about the obstacles of waiting for the right time or needing to feel ready. I invite you to consider actual obstacles that you encounter once you allow yourself to dream and plan. Things like not making your goal a priority and failing to schedule enough time to work on it. Or failing to commit and have accountability for the duration of the project.

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Clear the clutter – overwhelmed and overloaded

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How do you get out from under?

I talked in my last blog post how you might feel overloaded or overwhelmed – tired, forgetful, irritable and apathetic! Our current lifestyles have us busy multi-tasking. Our brains are working overtime! There is physical clutter, mental clutter, and scheduling clutter! In order to clear the clutter, we need to tackle head-on the ways in which we are choosing overload.

If we want to reclaim some control, we need to make some changes in the way that we choose.

From overloaded to clarity: clear the clutter

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Overloaded, overwhelmed and not enough time

overloaded, overwhelomed, not enough time, too much to do not enough time, not enough time in life, there's not enough time, overloaded, deluged with too much work, days blur into each other, enough time for the life you want, precious resources, make more money, increase your energy, build new relationships, achieving your goals, there is always enough time, how you use your time, choosing what to do with my time, investing my time, spending time, wasting time, gaining clarity on my goals, procrastination, confusion, too many to-do items, unrealistic expectations, too many interruptions, strict boundaries, protecting my time, protect my schedule, manage my interruptions, manage my availability, struggle to say no, accept work that is not ideal, assign realistic deadlines, time on social media, organise my time, organize my tasks

Growing up, I remember my mum remonstrating that there simply were not enough hours in a day!  As a sometimes overloaded, over-committed single mother, professional and volunteer, I have those very same moments!

I lament, at times, that days blur into each other, as I fail to stop and smell the roses. Days when it feels like there are simply not enough hours to get it all done. And then, when I finally have the time, where did my energy and focus go?

4 signs you are overloaded:

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