Courage is Taking That First Step Into the Unknown

Courage is Taking that First Step Into the Unknown

Fear is something that has held me back in the past, not being prepared to take risks that moved me outside my comfort zone. That has all changed since I made the decision to become a life coach.  Each day I am faced with new challenges to overcome, new ways of thinking, and the person I now have to become. Each day I am faced with the decision to push through the fear to get my dream off the ground or to turn back.  Each day I choose to move forward, sometimes taking leaps of faith or some days smaller more manageable steps.

Guess what! It just gets easier, who knew that dealing with fear was just a process, and a change of perception.

I recently read the book “Feel the fear and do it anyway” by Susan Jefferes. In it she explains the process that I have experienced. I hope the following information helps you to move forward and take that first step into the unknown.

The five truths about fear.

  1. The fear will never go away as long as you continue to grow as an individual.
  2. The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.
  3. The only way to feel better about yourself is to go out and do it.
  4. Not only are you going to experience fear whenever you’re on unfamiliar territory but so is everyone else.
  5. Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.

The biggest fear of all – the one that really keeps you stuck is

I can’t handle it!

At the bottom of every one of your fears is simply the fear that you can’t handle whatever life may bring you.

The truth is:

If you knew you could handle anything that came your way, what would you possibly have to fear?

Nothing

All you have to do to diminish your fear is to develop more trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way!

Some fear is instinctual and healthy and keeps us alert to trouble. The rest – the part that holds us back from personal growth is inappropriate and destructive, and perhaps can be blamed on our conditioning.

What matters is that you begin now to develop your trust in yourself, until you reach the point where you can say:

Whatever happens to me, given any situation, I can handle it!

We can’t escape fear.  We can only transform it into a companion that accompanies us in all our exciting adventures; it is not an anchor holding us transfixed in one spot.

If everybody feels fear when approaching something totally new in life, yet so many are out there “doing it” despite the fear, then we must conclude that fear is not the problem. The real issue has nothing to do with the fear itself, but rather, how we hold the fear.  For some, the fear is totally irrelevant.  For others, it creates a state of paralysis.  The former holds their fear from a position of power (choice, excitement and action), and the latter hold it from a position of pain (helplessness, depression and paralysis).  The secret to handling fear is to move yourself from a position of pain to a position of power.  The fact that you have the fear then becomes irrelevant.

To help you on your pain to power path, it’s important that you begin to develop a pain to power vocabulary.  The way you use words has a tremendous impact on the quality of your life.  Certain words are destructive; others are empowering.

Pain to Power Vocabulary

Pain >             >         >         >         >         >         Power

I can’t _____________________________  I won’t

I should ___________________________   I could

It’s not my fault ______________________  I’m totally responsible          

It’s a problem________________________  It’s an opportunity        

I’m never satisfied ____________________   I want to learn and grow

Life’s a struggle ______________________  Life’s an adventure

I hope _____________________________ I know            

What will I do? _______________________ I know I can handle it

It’s terrible __________________________ It’s a learning experience  

Begin eliminating the words terrible, can’t, problem, struggle, and should from your vocabulary. When you give your subconscious these messages your subconscious believes you. Not only does your sense of yourself change with a more powerful vocabulary, so does your presence in the world.  People who display an inner strength are treated differently from those who come across as weak.  The more powerfully you speak, the more you will be a force in the world around you.

You can also bring more power into your life by expanding your comfort zone.  Try each day to do something that pushes you outside your zone.  Take a risk a day – one small bold stroke that will make you feel great once you’ve done it.  Even if it doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to, at least you tried.  You didn’t sit back powerless. As your power builds, so does your confidence, so that stretching your comfort zone becomes easier and easier.  The magnitude of the risks you take also expands.  As long as you are taking risks – no matter how small you are moving yourself to a more powerful position.

When you feel yourself hesitating take the leap instead of backing away. Feel the fear and do it anyway.


Cath McEwenAbout the Author: Cath McEwen

Cath McEwen is a passionate, genuine, caring, and certified life coach who is inspired to support individuals who are in pursuit of personal growth and their own passions. She started Daring to Dream Life Coaching as a part of her own dream, following a journey of self discovery and personal growth.

Cath believes that embracing change while being true to yourself, your values, and your unique talent is within the power of all of us. If you are looking for a new perspective or approach, and support to take that first step into the unknown she would love the privilege of working with you.

Find Cath on Facebook,  TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

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When things feel hard or the world feels big, children will be looking to their important adults for signs of safety. They will be asking, ‘Do you think I'm safe?' 'Do you think I can do this?' With everything in us, we have to send the message, ‘Yes! Yes love, this is hard and you are safe. You can do hard things.'

Even if we believe they are up to the challenge, it can be difficult to communicate this with absolute confidence. We love them, and when they're distressed, we're going to feel it. Inadvertently, we can align with their fear and send signals of danger, especially through nonverbals. 

What they need is for us to align with their 'brave' - that part of them that wants to do hard things and has the courage to do them. It might be small but it will be there. Like a muscle, courage strengthens with use - little by little, but the potential is always there.

First, let them feel you inside their world, not outside of it. This lets their anxious brain know that support is here - that you see what they see and you get it. This happens through validation. It doesn't mean you agree. It means that you see what they see, and feel what they feel. Meet the intensity of their emotion, so they can feel you with them. It can come off as insincere if your nonverbals are overly calm in the face of their distress. (Think a zen-like low, monotone voice and neutral face - both can be read as threat by an anxious brain). Try:

'This is big for you isn't it!' 
'It's awful having to do things you haven't done before. What you are feeling makes so much sense. I'd feel the same!

Once they really feel you there with them, then they can trust what comes next, which is your felt belief that they will be safe, and that they can do hard things. 

Even if things don't go to plan, you know they will cope. This can be hard, especially because it is so easy to 'catch' their anxiety. When it feels like anxiety is drawing you both in, take a moment, breathe, and ask, 'Do I believe in them, or their anxiety?' Let your answer guide you, because you know your young one was built for big, beautiful things. It's in them. Anxiety is part of their move towards brave, not the end of it.
Sometimes we all just need space to talk to someone who will listen without giving advice, or problem solving, or lecturing. Someone who will let us talk, and who can handle our experiences and words and feelings without having to smooth out the wrinkles or tidy the frayed edges. 

Our kids need this too, but as their important adults, it can be hard to hush without needing to fix things, or gather up their experience and bundle it into a learning that will grow them. We do this because we love them, but it can also mean that they choose not to let us in for the wrong reasons. 

We can’t help them if we don’t know what’s happening in their world, and entry will be on their terms - even more as they get older. As they grow, they won’t trust us with the big things if we don’t give them the opportunity to learn that we can handle the little things (which might feel seismic to them). They won’t let us in to their world unless we make it safe for them to.

When my own kids were small, we had a rule that when I picked them up from school they could tell me anything, and when we drove into the driveway, the conversation would be finished if they wanted it to be. They only put this rule into play a few times, but it was enough for them to learn that it was safe to talk about anything, and for me to hear what was happening in that part of their world that happened without me. My gosh though, there were times that the end of the conversation would be jarring and breathtaking and so unfinished for me, but every time they would come back when they were ready and we would finish the chat. As it turned out, I had to trust them as much as I wanted them to trust me. But that’s how parenting is really isn’t it.

Of course there will always be lessons in their experiences we will want to hear straight up, but we also need them to learn that we are safe to come to.  We need them to know that there isn’t anything about them or their life we can’t handle, and when the world feels hard or uncertain, it’s safe here. By building safety, we build our connection and influence. It’s just how it seems to work.♥️
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#parenting #parenthood #mindfulparenting
Words can be hard sometimes. The right words can be orbital and unconquerable and hard to grab hold of. Feelings though - they’ll always make themselves known, with or without the ‘why’. 

Kids and teens are no different to the rest of us. Their feelings can feel bigger than words - unfathomable and messy and too much to be lassoed into language. If we tap into our own experience, we can sometimes (not all the time) get an idea of what they might need. 

It’s completely understandable that new things or hard things (such as going back to school) might drive thoughts of falls and fails and missteps. When this happens, it’s not so much the hard thing or the new thing that drives avoidance, but thoughts of failing or not being good enough. The more meaningful the ‘thing’ is, the more this is likely to happen. If you can look behind the words, and through to the intention - to avoid failure more than the new or difficult experience, it can be easier to give them what they need. 

Often, ‘I can’t’ means, ‘What if I can’t?’ or, ‘Do you think I can?’, or, ‘Will you still think I’m brave, strong, and capable of I fail?’ They need to know that the outcome won’t make any difference at all to how much you adore them, and how capable and exceptional you think they are. By focusing on process, (the courage to give it a go), we clear the runway so they can feel safer to crawl, then walk, then run, then fly. 

It takes time to reach full flight in anything, but in the meantime the stumbling can make even the strongest of hearts feel vulnerable. The more we focus on process over outcome (their courage to try over the result), and who they are over what they do (their courage, tenacity, curiosity over the outcome), the safer they will feel to try new things or hard things. We know they can do hard things, and the beauty and expansion comes first in the willingness to try. 
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#parenting #mindfulparenting #positiveparenting #mindfulparent
Never in the history of forever has there been such a  lavish opportunity for a year to be better than the last. Not to be grabby, but you know what I’d love this year? Less opportunities that come in the name of ‘resilience’. I’m ready for joy, or adventure, or connection, or gratitude, or courage - anything else but resilience really. Opportunities for resilience have a place, but 2020 has been relentless with its servings, and it’s time for an out breath. Here’s hoping 2021 will be a year that wraps its loving arms around us. I’m ready for that. x
The holidays are a wonderland of everything that can lead to hyped up, exhausted, cranky, excited, happy kids (and adults). Sometimes they’ll cycle through all of these within ten minutes. Sugar will constantly pry their little mouths wide open and jump inside, routines will laugh at you from a distance, there will be gatherings and parties, and everything will feel a little bit different to usual. And a bit like magic. 

Know that whatever happens, it’s all part of what the holidays are meant to look like. They aren’t meant to be pristine and orderly and exactly as planned. They were never meant to be that. Christmas is about people, your favourite ones, not tasks. If focusing on the people means some of the tasks fall down, let that be okay, because that’s what Christmas is. It’s about you and your people. It’s not about proving your parenting stamina, or that you’ve raised perfectly well-behaved humans, or that your family can polish up like the catalog ones any day of the week, or that you can create restaurant quality meals and decorate the table like you were born doing it. Christmas is messy and ridiculous and exhausting and there will be plenty of frayed edges. And plenty of magic. The magic will happen the way it always happens. Not with the decorations or the trimmings or the food or the polish, but by being with the ones you love, and the ones who love you right back.

When it all starts to feel too important, too necessary and too ‘un-let-go-able’, be guided by the bigger truth, which is that more than anything, you will all remember how you all felt – as in how happy they felt, how loved they felt were, how noticed they felt. They won’t care about the instagram-worthy meals on the table, the cleanliness of the floors, how many relatives they visited, or how impressed other grown-ups were with their clean faces and darling smiles. It’s easy to forget sometimes, that what matters most at Christmas isn’t the tasks, but the people – the ones who would give up pretty much anything just to have the day with you.

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