How to Step into Courage

Look.  I get it.  It takes lots of vulnerability to be courageous sometimes.  Trust me, after writing my previous post here, I almost erased it.  So how does one step into courage?  First, let’s take a look at the word itself.  What is courage?

  1. :  mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

That was how Merriam-Webster defined it.  But to be honest, I define it in thousand little ways and I am willing to bet that you have done any number of things that could be considered courageous.

I want to show you an exercise that I might do with my Club, so bear with me a moment.  Take a good look at this quote:  It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.  ~Erma Bombeck

Have you ever shown your dreams to other people?  That moment when you are on the brink of telling them the greatest joy you ever had and the plans you want to make and you rush forward and.  Stop.  <<< well that’s fear and we’re actually going to talk about that a little later in my Club and on my FB Page, but courage is when you take that deep breath after the panic and you go ahead.  So if you’d like, take a moment to journal around this thought.  You can pin this to come back to this if you want, but I really want you to think about this quote.

Our culture is ripe with tales of courage.  Do you remember being a kid and watching Indiana Jones?  Oh how I loved that movie.  Especially this part, and I didn’t make it so ignore the spelling:

Well, it just so happens that I couldn’t stand snakes after I accidentally stepped on one in an outdoor hotel lobby.  And it wrapped around my ankle and bit me and I had to go to the hospital for hours with no food in my stomach in case it was venomous.  Anyway, so later in life I volunteered at the Virginia Living Museum and I learned how to reach my hand into a pillow case, no lie, and grab a snake that was not venomous.  I also learned that their scales are like the same thing as finger nails…it still doesn’t mean I like them, but I tried.

Anyway, I bet you have done something in your life that took great courage.  I felt fear yet I was choosing to try to get over that fear as best I could.  That is a sign of stepping into courage.  I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.  ~Nelson Mandela

Then there was this time that a lady was bullying my friend and everyone at work was so afraid of this lady.  She would scream we were racists if we stood up to her, so she would hide, go on longer lunch breaks, not come back to the classroom for hours, seriously, and then when she did show up, she wouldn’t help my friend (yes, later she was put on probation).  Anyway, she stood in the hall screaming at my friend in front of kids and other teachers one day so I stood up to her and said whatever it was I said to get her to calm down, and then later I reported the incident when no one else would.  They didn’t want to be the ones to report this lady, no lie, because they knew she’d come after them.  A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)

After that incident, I was shaking, but I got it done.  Have you ever stood up to a bully before?   It’s not easy, but it must be done.  I will always practice what I would preach to my children.  How could I not?

At some point in your life, there are any number of actions that have taken courage my friends.  I just know it.  You have probably felt afraid, but done something anyway like riding a roller coaster.  You have listened to your heart or even your gut and stepped out on that stage to speak.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”~ Steve Jobs

I said yes to jumping on an airplane to England last year, and going by myself to speak at a conference and I am so glad I did.  I hadn’t actually met anyone in person and my parents thought any number of things could have gone wrong…it was a list daily.  But without the courage to travel alone, walk around London alone, and go see Stonehenge alone, I would have always regretted it.  What if…what ifs are the things we don’t want to be thinking about.

Want to learn more?  30 days of journal prompts around courage in the month of August plus tutorials, master classes online, meditations, bonus yoga poses and more.  >>>  Head|Heart|Health Club <<<

Save

5 Lessons I Learned from International Speaking

Wow!!  I did it.  I can now add International Speaker to a resume that I keep inside of myself.  Let me back up.  For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know I left my teaching career and through a series of steps started my own brand and business.  I never had a list of things to do before x age or anything like that.  I always thought that I would retire one day after a really LONG time of teaching and probably look twice my age.  Just true facts right there.

But my life desire was always to make a huge difference in the world we live in and especially in the field of empowering those who feel power-less

I had not traveled to Europe in 20 years.  I had NOT traveled by myself.  The steps that I took were scary and felt exciting, but caused me a week of no sleep.  The closer the date came, the more excited and scared I got.  Would they like me?  What if I mess up?  What if I cry?  <<< MOST likely scenario as I told my story.

I practiced and recorded my speech.  I got THE right outfit to make a good first impression.  I started to visualize the reaction at the end of my speech.  I was on fire.  I was going to nail it.  And then I practiced it in front of my roommate in London one night, and I fell apart.  What is happening?  I can’t cry when I speak.  I thought I was healed???  Breathe.  You are healed, but this is powerful stuff.  You can literally change someone’s life with this story.   <<< inner big girl panties are on.

5 Lessons I learned from Speaking:

  1. Everyone in the room wants you to succeed.  I knew it.  I could just look at them and tell they were all rooting for me.  It was like they had flags up with my name on them.  GO AIMEE!!!  I saw it.  It was like thoughts bubbles actually, but they were there.
  2. Be ready to go with the flow.  After a week of practicing, you guessed it, I changed it at the last-minute to reflect the feelings I was getting from the audience.  They were not ready for the other way I had planned it, but the new way that downloaded into my head while sitting there was exactly what they needed.
  3. Give value to your audience.  I know that even though I told my story, I also told them a way to handle their emotions and reflected it back to what any one person sitting there could be going through.
  4. Give them an a-ha moment.  I gave them a moment to take away forever.  I told them that even in my deepest pain, I woke up and decided to live each day with thankfulness.  I actually put one foot in front of each other in the morning and said thank you as I made my way to my bathroom mirror.  I saw all eyes on me…and maybe, just maybe a few tears.  But not from me this time.  Not from me.  I knew they were with me and I felt the love.
  5. Leave them with a take-away.  I circled around to the theme of my speech, and gave them an activity they could do daily like writing positive affirmations on the mirror in dry-erase marker.  I told them that as I was in pain, I made the plan to heal through my 4 Weeks to Wellness steps, and I developed that as a way for others to move forward from wherever they are in life.  The plan was simple and included daily action steps as well as workbooks and lots and lots of internal work.  So even if they weren’t in physical pain, I have never once met a person who did not benefit from doing some work inside.

Aimee Speaking in LondonThis is the shot from my friend in the audience…I will have a video I hope.

As I concluded, you could have heard a pin drop, and I think, just maybe, I nailed it.  The best part of this entire experience was that this was only my third speech ever since stepping into my new role.  Thank you all for your support from the bottom of my heart. 

change_regret

 

5 Tips on How to Face Your Fears

Without breaking the confidence and trust of my very close friends, I want to tell you about something I coach women how to handle.  The word is fear.  Most often, when I do a client intake, fear of failure at trying something new is there in the beginning.  One of the most important things for me is not to push people, but to get them moving in the right direction.  Once I see that, I can step back and let them go.

This fear of failure needs to be explored.  De-cluttered.  Looked at under a microscope.  And then released.  Once we have done everything we needed to do with it, we let it go…kind of like catch and release.  How do you propose I teach you to do that in one short blog post?  Well, honestly, that’s where my 4 Weeks to Wellness program comes in and you take the bonus option, but I want you to start today so that you have these tools under your belt for later.

5 Tips on How to Face Your Fears:

  1. Name it.  Yes, I know.  This seems too simple.  But what exactly are you afraid of and why?  For some of my clients, it’s getting better and I know this fear only too well.  What if…it starts off like that.  Write out all of your “what ifs” and “but this could happen” until you narrow it down to the one that clicks.  The final reason.  The real McCoy.  The one you look at on your list and you say “Well, shit.  I didn’t know I was still dragging this around with me.” 
  2. Examine the feelings.  Journal it.  You knew I was going to say that.  How has this held you back?  What would it be like if you could get over it?  What changes can you see coming into your life for the better once this fear has been released?  Now that it is named and out there, it’s kind of like Rumpelstiltskin…the one from the fairy tales.  It has no power.  You know its name.
  3. Ask yourself why now.  Maybe it came up because it was related to something else someone else is going through and you are afraid that will happen to you.  Stop those kinds of stories right now.  Is it something from the past?  Is it something you are afraid of in the future?  What are you missing out on right now by not fully living?
  4. Come up with the absolute WORST thing that could happen.  Will you look stupid?  Will you die?  <<< that scenario might be the worst thing that really could happen, and if that is a thought, then go to your next question.  Can you stop it by worrying about it?  Could you join a support group and help others on the same path as you and thus by helping them face this fear, help you realize you are not alone?  Could you turn this fear into a leadership role?  Could you learn something new from it?  Could you, in fact, live in the present and celebrate the abundance you already have?  Could you meditate or do yoga to continue to help release this fear?
  5. Make a plan to move forward.  What would the opposite of this fear feel like?  What are your dreams that it has blocked up until now?  Step into your light, no really visualize the white light of protection from this fear and step into it.  Your dreams are possible.  Repeat that mantra.  Life is an adventure and it’s your to take.  See the sights you want to see, take from it what you need, but learn to release what no longer serves you. 

fear_kid

Save