How to Restore Your Courage
This is a feature called Good Thoughts from Good Folks where I ask a few good folks for their good thoughts on a question I’m thinking about. This week’s good folks: Gabrielle Melchionda, Richard Boly, Stasia Savasuk, Linda Kay Klein
This week’s question: When you're not feeling very courageous, how do you restore your courage?
Gabrielle Melchionda is the Founder/Maestra/President of Mad Gab's, a Maine company making natural & organic body care products.
Courage is something that ebbs and flows for me. When I feel defeated or lacking courage I tend to turn to my trusty toolbox that has served me well over the years. It’s battered and worn, but always there for me. I dive into yoga, I seek counsel from a wise girlfriend, I sit with my words on a page and let everything out. If I see my fears in front of me or where I’m stuck, I’m typically able to muster the strength to soldier on. And from there, simply doing helps eradicate fear and hesitation.
My inner monologue feeds or drains my courage. When my courage flags, I summon one of those glorious moments we all have had - a hole in one, hitting the bulls eye, sinking a shot at the buzzer to win the game or the non sports equivalent. I try to reboot my self talk, recapturing the exhilaration of that moment and overlay it on the challenge that has turned my inner monologue negative.
When the negative chatter inside my head beats me down and makes me think I'm not good enough, I take to my closet and find my very best Power Outfit. The clothes that I wear can either connect me to my weary, tired, not-good-enough self, or they can connect me to my Power.
I am courageous and bold. I am a little bit edgy and whole lotta fun. I am good enough.
When I put on the right outfit, I REMEMBER WHO I AM.
Linda Kay Klein is a writer working on a book about her journey with sex, shame, and religion as well as the stories of dozens of other women that she has collected over the past decade, for Simon & Schuster.
"Do one thing a day that scares you" - graffiti inspiration on the subway wall
"Just one?" I thought as I passed by it. "My, how nice that would be."
In those days, I was living on the edge of my courage curve. My stomach was nearly always in a knot and my chest taut with tension. I took big breaths, offered little prayers, and whispered "onward" under my breath nearly every day. And let me tell you, that sh*t is exhausting.
If just reading that inspirational quote made you tired, like it did me, if it doesn't matter how many deep breaths you take or "onwards" you utter, you're just as shaky as ever, perhaps you are in the same situation I was in that day. Perhaps what you really need is to take a moment out to restore yourSELF, not your courage. Cut yourself a break. Do one LESS thing that scares you every day. Just for a little while. Then you can come back to the mighty you that you love to be. I promise.
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