Courage is not doing things when you are confident, or when you feel secure and you know that you will win. Courage is doing things when you are terrified.
In order to grow as a person, you MUST do the things that scare you. Without moving out of your comfort zone, into territory where you feel that you lack the skill sets, or lack the talent to do the things that you've never tried before, or because you're afraid of failure, and the pain that comes with it.
But you have to take that risk.
Because in experiencing failure, we learn. We grow.
Life lessons only occur when we go out and do the things that scare us. That is how we become stronger, more resilient people. That is how we succeed.
So, how do we find the courage do to the things that terrify us?
We draw on inspiration from others. Watch motivational videos. Talk to supportive friends. Talk to supportive colleges. Talk to supportive family members. Doesn't matter who (or even where) they are, as long as they are there, in your life, being a cheerleader for you.
But what happens when you don't have anyone to push you forward?
Then you have no choice. You have to start with yourself. You have to cheer yourself on. And once you start, others will jump on the bandwagon and start cheering for you too. Because you will inspire them.
But how do you do this? How can you possibly start with yourself, when you don't feel courageous? When you don't feel strong or confident or sure of your skills?
It's simple, really, when it comes down to it.
You must tell yourself THAT YOU ALREADY ARE brave. That you already are the things that you wish most in your life to be.
You say these words, and soon enough, even if you don't believe it now, you will. And it will change your life. I know that it changed mine.
Especially if you don't feel it in your heart and soul right now. This is what you need to say to yourself, to gain courage and confidence and any other thing that you feel is lacking in your life.
Repeat after me:
- I am strong.
- I am capable.
- I am wise.
- I am successful.
- I am determined.
- I am courageous.
- I am focused.
- I am an amazing person.
Say it every day, and soon enough, you'll start to believe it. Because it's true. You are all of these things, and more!
But, Cassie, does this really work?
Yes. Yes, it does.
Let me tell you something.
I went through a very tough time last year. And saying those things to myself is what got me out of that cycle of suffering. Of repeating negative thoughts. Of dwelling on everything that went wrong, instead of focusing on what went right.
Stopping that internal cycle of saying negative things to myself by saying positive I AM statements instead, really works.
Silly? Can be to some. But it worked for me.
Sometimes, you have to say it to yourself before anyone else will. Once you start believing it, the support will come from others.
I know this because I went through it. I experienced it. Painfully. Acutely. I was arguing all the time with my family. They wanted me to go "get a real job" and to give up trying to sell my books.
I felt like a complete and total failure. My sales weren't where they needed to be, the money wasn't there for me to help support my family.
It was awful.
I had hit rock bottom.
With constantly being told that I was never going to get anywhere with this and that I should go get a safer career in a soul-sucking job, it wore me down.
I honestly felt like quitting. I was about to give it all up. Stop writing. Stop publishing. Stop pursuing my dreams.
And then, I watched a couple motivational videos. I was looking for ways to learn how to uplift others in my life, to help raise them up because I always feel best when I am helping someone else.
That is how I am wired. It's what makes me tick. And I figured if I can help others, I'll feel better, and maybe I won't be so down about things.
Honestly, it felt like the Universe guided me to them because I needed to hear what those people had to say.
This month I watched a TON of motivational videos, and I learned a lot about myself, and how I work, and I found that I still had that inner strength I thought I had lost. This was all because I was inspired by other people that I had never even met in my life.
I was so inspired to grow as a person that I decided to challenge myself. And I mean really challenge myself for the first time in a very long time.
A few days ago, I announced that I was going to do something that utterly terrified me.
I am going to finish and publish three books next month. One of which I have been sitting on for over 7 years because I was AFRAID of what people would think of it.
All three books are in various draft states. All three of them can easily be polished up, added to, and completed in 4 weeks. No problem.
And yet...it the very idea of challenging myself and putting those things out into the world scared me.
(It still does. But I'm not letting it stop me. I have to prove to myself that I CAN DO IT!)
Making that announcement was like taking a knife and cutting out my own heart and holding it up and out to the world and saying, "Hey! Here it is! This is all the strength I have left, but damn it, I'm gonna use it to keep moving forward and do the thing that scares me the most. Because I have to. I have to follow my heart. I have to reach my goals. I can make it happen. Even though I am scared to do it. I know I can do it. And I will."
And you know what happened?
The minute I told other people that I was going to do something that scared me, support popped out of the woodwork.
Some of it came from places that I never expected it to come from. From people, I didn't even personally know! (Thank you Twitter Followers!)
Because following my goals, and struggling and moving forward in spite of the odds, inspired other people. And in turn, those people gave me the support and the strength I needed to dig deep inside and find the courage to do it.
Even though that courage and inner strength have always been there, I could not find it. I was looking for it in the wrong places.
But now I know.
Courage starts within me. Taking a leap of faith, digging up and drawing upon that brave soul inside of me caused a chain reaction of inspiration. It radiated out and inspired others and then it came right back to me, in an ever-growing wave of support.
It's an amazing experience. One that anyone can have.
But, it is up to you. You have to make the decision. Today.
Make the decision to commit to doing the one thing that scares you the most. Because that is THE ONE THING that will make your life better. That is the thing that will move you closer to your destiny. That will push you towards being a stronger, more successful person.
Keep pushing your limits. Keep doing the things that scare you, and you will thrive in the challenge. I guarantee it.
And remember, if you fail, it's not a bad thing. It is a lesson to learn from. To grow from. To become stronger, and wiser, and richer from. It is a life lesson, and life lessons are priceless.