Nobody Said It Would Be Easy
Courage is the willingness to act even when frightened. If we struggle with low self-esteem and have been emotionally dependent on others for a long time, it will be frightening to make independent decisions about our lives that may earn the disapproval of others. The only way to begin is by taking small steps that we can handle. Even a baby step puts us farther forward than no step at all. You’ll be quite surprised at how much strength, confidence, and pride you get from tapping one little iota of your hidden inner courage.
Put a three-by-five card on your fridge, mirror, or in your wallet that says: NOBODY SAID IT WOULD BE EASY! Too often, we hold the underlying assumption that things should be easy, that if we face difficult challenges, it means we’re somehow bad, or the world is against us. With either a judgmental or victim attitude, we find it all too easy to crumble and never discover how strong and creative we really can be. Change is rarely easy. But avoiding the difficulties in our lives never gives us the chance to conquer fear. When we overcome a fear or face challenges and win, we experience wonderful feelings of accomplishment and mastery.
It’s important to free ourselves from the attitude that things should be easy, which only encourages us to resist difficulties. Shun the ain’t-it-awful and woe-is-me attitudes in yourself and in other people. Negativity is highly contagious, so if at all possible avoid being around chronically negative people.
Excerpted from The Courage to Be Yourself by Sue Patton Thoele. Available on Mango and Amazon.