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When we’re facing our biggest fears…and even the smaller ones, where do we find courage?

It really comes down to choice.  Do you choose to live in fear, avoid change or run from your brilliance or to accept the challenge to live your life in the largest way possible?

Most often what we fear is the unknown.  It is more comfortable to stay in the place we are currently because we know what that looks like.  But this is an illusion…even what we think we know cannot stay the same forever.  The nature of this world and life is change.

It can take courage to step out of the boxes we live in…those places and ways we feel safe…to accept the challenge to up our game and risk a career change, a new relationship or committing to making one of those goals on our bucket list happen.  So where do we find this thing called courage?

In The Wizard of Oz, following the lion’s journey leads us to the answer.  It is not outside of us.  It is not something someone else can bestow on us.  It is within.  Dorothy, the lion and their other friends believed the Wizard held the magic bullet…the one answer to finding what they longed for in their life.  Like a good coach, he pulled back the curtain and guided them to look within for that which they already had.  Here are some tips ‘n tools for tapping into your own well of courage:

1.  Play the As If game…if you already had the courage to take on a specific task, conversation or deal with a situation, how would you feel?  What actions would you take if you had no fear?  If you took one or more of those actions, how would your life be different?

2.  Pain/Gain Assessment…divide a piece of paper into two columns…list everything you have to gain if you act out of courage in one column and everything acting out of fear would cost you.  Can you afford to keep living in fear or is the cost too high?

3.  Get Support…Dorothy and her friends encouraged each other over the course of their journey together.  Set up a support system of people who will reflect your inner strength back to you in moments you can’t see it for yourself.  Creating community is a great way to tap into your courage.  Check out my guest blogger, Kelly Farley’s post tomorrow for an inspiring story on how he is creating a community of courageous men to support each other through the loss of a child.

4.  Baby steps…whatever transition or challenge you are facing or goal you are going for, see where you want to be and then break it down into manageable steps.  What is one courageous action you can take today?  Take it then notice if you feel lighter, more inspired and more energized.  Wouldn’t you rather experience this daily then the anxiety, worry, low energy brought on by fear?

5.  Be a Witness to Courage…look for it in the actions of others.  Be inspired by the stories of how others have faced challenges and fears.  Know that we all share the capacity to be courageous and that in doing so we, in turn, can be inspiration for others.

As part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge I am participating in this month, I have challenged myself and others to be courageous for the 31 days of August…it is the month of the Lion after all.  If you spent one month choosing courage in place of fear at least once a day, how different would your life be? Ready, set…be courageous!

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