Use Your Courage

I was sitting in my therapist’s office (brilliant gal, by the way) last week talking about another fear and perceived limitation that had me stuck in my tracks. When I finally finished rambling I heard her take a deep breath and she said, “You know Liz, just use your courage.”

Use my courage. Hmmm. I have courage?

Her words stayed with me for days. Great educators call it a “teachable moment.” I knew there was an important message for me here.

I’m not talking about the jump-out-of-an-airplane-kind-of-courage (although that’s always good for a strong dose of adrenaline and pushing your outer-limits a bit farther). I’m talking about when you know deep down to your core that you are supposed to do something – when your intuition pulls you in a particular direction – but you let your chattering monkey mind, and all of the excuses and limiting beliefs it comes up with, get in your way.

How easy it is to give in to fear. To remain paralyzed, small, safe. But playing small doesn’t really align with being awesome, now does it?

I’m a writer, and yet I have a fear of writing. Afraid of being vulnerable, exposed, criticized. So I’ll come up with any excuse in the book to avoid sitting down at my keyboard. Especially if I’m writing something personal. Coffee date? Great. Laundry? I’ll do five loads. You need my help? I’m there yesterday. Whatever it takes to avoid the possibility of putting myself on the line on paper. Naked.

Use my courage.

I have it. You have it. We ALL have it. You’ve just got to use it. Courage is a muscle that atrophies from lack of use. How often we kneel to our weaknesses, when we should be praying at the altar of our strengths (thank you, Marcus Buckingham.)

Sometimes we stare so long at the ghost of our fear that we use up all of our energy in a constant state of anxiety. What a waste. How many times have you gotten yourself all bent out of shape about something, but once you actually sat down to do it, you laughed at yourself for having made such a fuss in the first place?

C’mon, be honest. The anxiety about a particular situation is usually A LOT worse than whatever the situation might be. This happens to me all the time. I admit it: I’m a bit of a recovering fuss-pot.

Courage is that little bit of action juice that gets us over whatever perceived obstacle may be in our way. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

If you’re going to use your courage, just put one foot in front of the other. Daily.

© Liz Dennery Sanders 2011


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Liz Dennery Sanders and Emily-Anne Rigal, Patti Murphy. Patti Murphy said: RT @SheBrandLiz: Are YOU using your courage? […]

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