NURTURING ‘EVERYDAY COURAGE’: START WITH HEART!
If you’re having a tough time, it can be hard to keep trying; to keep moving and striving.
When you feel discouraged, you might want to withdraw, get small, give up and not try any more – to protect your dwindling self-esteem. It feels like courage is limited and you may feel that you’ve used yours up.
SURVIVAL CAN KEEP US STUCK
Our instinct for survival is so strong. It’s often strong enough to keep us stuck in one place for quite a while! If we’ve been hurt, our instinct is to focus on the hurt and woundedness and the struggle. We hunker down and stay in that place and get well and truly stuck.
Of course, there’s a time for focusing on the bad stuff, the pain, the hurt, the struggles. It’s essential to allow yourself some space for grief, sadness, anger or whatever emotions you feel. They are all valid and real.
But here’s the thing: Focusing on those things longterm, will keep us in the same place. The same headspace. The same mindset. To get out of that place we need to move. And to move, we need…
Courage, everyday courage, is something that we may feel is diminished after a setback but it can be replenished and restored with a few simple actions.
When you’re ready to move and get past that horrible place, remember this. Courage is ALWAYS there. We may lose sight of it, but it’s at our very heart. It’s how we’ve survived every day of our lives. Even the roughest ones.
START WITH HEART
I remind myself by saying, “Start with heart”. Your heart is the core of you. The living beating part that knows, deep down, what’s best for you. The part that knows the real, true you and what you need to feel safe, to belong and to feel valued.
“Start with heart” means looking at your strengths, qualities and skills. The things that have enabled you to survive even the crappiest of times. You may feel like you’ve been de-skilled as a result of setbacks but those skills are there for you to use. Along with all kinds of other good stuff.
BUILDING STRENGTHS & SURVIVAL SKILLS
You began learning how to survive from the day you were born. Granted, your knowledge and understanding in those early days was limited but you managed to:
- Reach some conclusions about yourself, (what/how I am), other people (what/how they are) and life (what events/life are all about).
- Given those conclusions, you experimented to find out what you needed to do to survive, find safety, belonging and significance in the world.
- Once you had that ‘operating system’ in place, barring big, shocking events, (which may challenge those early conclusions), you have worked to play to your strengths and find ways to improve your life.
You have created some unique strategies, built up all kinds of ‘rules of the road’ for yourself. The way I see it, these are strengths. And along with those, you also developed certain qualities and values that keep you on the right path.
“Start with heart” means recognising those strengths (here’s a secret: there are ONLY strengths that we over- or under-use) seeing where we have room to make changes and do thing differently. This is very important. It gets us out of ‘stuck’!
“Start with heart” means beginning. Before you’ve got every duck lined up. Before you ‘know’ all the steps. Before you feel ready. Courage will help you begin with that first step, no matter how awkward and ungraceful it feels.
Just start. With heart. And look for the wins… even the tiniest one counts.
If you feel that your ‘rules of the road’ may need tweaking, because they’ve got you as far as you can go, send me an email and we can schedule a discovery call to see if we’d be a good fit to work together.
Let’s make a “start, with heart” ♥️