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Ep. 121 Strengthen Your Courage Muscle

by Claudine Sweeney
March 23rd 2022
Do you have "that thing" that you've always wanted to do? Or maybe you want to be more courageous in your ordinary day to day. Such as the courage to set boundaries or the courage to do hard things. W... More
This is episode 1 21, strengthen your courage muscle. You're listening to the Rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids, we have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the rise up and Shine podcast. Welcome back listeners today, we're going to talk about courage. Courage is the quality of Minder spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger and pain without fear. That's what courage, That's the definition of it. Now let me ask you this when you hear be strong and very courageous, what do you think? How do you feel when you hear that? Usually these are the kinds of instructions you receive when something risky or dangerous lies ahead, that's for sure.

What was going on when God told Joshua that in Joshua 1, 7 be strong and very courageous. It's almost like uh oh something's coming, doesn't it seem like that to you? Like a warning? Yeah, it's like a warning. Be strong and courageous. So what's coming up? Why do I have to be strong and courageous when you're on a hyper alert? Right, but you and I have been talking recently and we need to have courage in our day to day life, it's not only for the big monumental things um a lots going on in our world right now as usual and I feel like we were saying that a lot last year and now we have war going on and there's people that have to face some very real, very specific danger and there are a lot of them are acting with great courage, but even in our small day to day things, we need to find courage. I mean I remember my time when I struggle with depression, I had to find the courage just to get up, right, I had to just the have the state of mind to face the uncomfortably the pain, the discomfort of just getting up out of bed to rise up and shine right?

So even in our day to day life, the quality of courage is really important. That's why we're talking about it today, right? And sometimes we can think that courage, some people have it. Some people don't, you can think of Wizard of Oz wasn't the lion who just wanted courage and it's so true, we think some people are just born with courage and some people just aren't and there is some truth to that, some tend to be more courageous just naturally, but it is also something that can be learned and practice and you know, you'll hear a lot of people out there and like what we like to say is if you think of it like a muscle, right, strengthening that courage muscle, it takes practice, it takes work, it takes intention, but it's possible and I think a lot of times we get stuck with feeling so afraid and a lot of what happens in our brain which we'll dive into a little bit but we get so stuck in that place of being fearful and we think that's that's just what it is. Maybe it's not meant to be or and we we just stick to our comfort zone and it's really default and but what happens is we're not happy, we're happy, we're not fulfilled.

We're not satisfied in our life. There still is this deep yearning for more, you know more peace, joy, love you name it and just even goals and dreams in our lives. Well it takes courage to go after a new job or career. I'm thinking of some of the things um or start a hobby, you know or start a business or join a group. I mean I remember when my kids were young since many, many years ago and I wanted to be part of the P. T. A. But I was so fearful like I was like I was like I'm not going to go to school by myself and an evening I remember so for years I didn't join and then years later one of my neighbors like hey there's a P. T. A. Meeting, you want to come with me tonight. And I was like sure I'll go with you safety right? I had a companion. I had cohort with me, I wasn't alone. But there's all kinds of things in our day to day life that Could cause fear. And I think for me as a younger mom in my 20s and 30s, I feared fear. I feared fear. So I was like, I don't want to feel fearful.

I'm straight afraid of even feeling that feeling. So let's just stay super comfortable. Let's just keep really safe within the confines of my home. And I was busy obviously with four Children. I was very busy, but I feel like now that I'm older, it's like, okay, I have to break out of my comfort zone. I have to find courage to do the things that I'm passionate about or interested in. I want to be a life enthusiast. You know, I'm enthusiastic about life, that's how I want to live. You can't do that without some amount of courage. And also when we are stuck in that comfort zone and I'll say stuck because that's eventually what it essentially what it is, is being stuck there. Um A lot of us feel at peace with it. And if you listened or if you have not go back and listen to episode 1 18, surrendering verse settling. You'll know you'll understand that if you really peel back the layers, are you truly happy with that being in that place. And what happens is we think, well we're just surrendered to what is.

But essentially we settled, we just decided, no, I'm going to settle in this place and it is what it is, but again, like I said, we're unhappy and unfulfilled and really when we have courage, when we practice courage and build that muscle, it does so many amazing things for you. It, you know, allows you to pursue your goals, your dreams, like you said things you're passionate about, it helps you get things out of life that you really, really want right deep in those um desires, those dreams, those passions of yours. It also boosts self confidence and increases happiness, which I think many of us want. We definitely all want to experience more happiness in this life. I even have that talk with our kids about um being happy, you know, and what that looks like and how you can even choose how your day is going to go because I have one child who tends to think if a couple unfortunate situations happen in the morning, then it's a bad day, the whole day is ruined, it's a bad day and I think most of us can relate to that, you know, oh my gosh, this is going to be a bad day, sometimes we do, but it doesn't have to be a total break of our day, right, when a few things happen, but if we really practice this courage and really understand that, gosh, if I just strengthen this muscle a little bit, I can potentially experience more happiness, more fulfillment, more confidence, more peace.

Gosh, why not? Right, let's go for that. What can I do? Sign me up? Yes. Um you know, it's funny, I'm thinking of when I've had to be courageous recently and for me it's been probably like the last 8 to 10 years I've had to redefine myself because my Children all grew up, I'm an empty nester. My Children are adults and they've moved on and I made it. I know I did it, I'm on the other side, but I had to find courage to recreate my life, you know, that's what I work with women now. I coach women typically empty nesters that are on the other side and they're trying to redefine themselves and reinvent themselves, but it took a lot of courage to figure out even what I liked or what I was passionate about because my Children, my home were it for so many years, I always had jobs that they were part time and they were kind of accessories. My main thing was my home and my Children and so I really had to find the courage to face the discomfort, the pain, the difficulty, the challenge, the challenge of hard, I think about that I had to confront that face it and just do new things for me and that was hard.

Um I was recently at a workshop and one of things that came up, someone was sharing, how introverted and shy they were and they didn't do anything until they were like 22. I was like me too, I didn't go to a grocery store till alone until I was probably 25 I had Children in 21. So it was just there was so much fear and of course as I've grown I've had to confront those fears and the hard things like it's okay, I can do hard things. In fact my new saying now is I do all the hard things. I got coached on that recently by my coach. I'm like okay, it's one thing to say and you and I teach this all the time. I can do hard things. It's a whole another one to say what say, you know what I do the hard things. I do all the hard things like already Yeah, I already do it and if it comes up yeah, that's who I am. I do all the hard things and things and I survived and I'm shining, shining bright, I'm rising and shining even with the hard things and how many of us think well in order to be courageous then I don't fear anymore right?

Like the fear just goes away. But that's not what happens. Fear is inevitable. Fear is a part of life, it's even a part of our wiring right or fight and flight. It's a part of our survival. However practicing courage and building that courage muscle does not mean it's not going to be there, it's how you choose and intend to get through difficult situations right? We can choose to let the fear take over and have more power and control over us and we're just going to shrink back and stay comfortable and safe. Or I could strengthen that courage muscle and no, I am adamant not to go back there, I want more out of my life, I want to experience more happiness and fulfillment and confidence and so you know I can do hard things. I am doing hard things and pump yourself up sometimes. I still have to do that right, pump yourself up and just decide just make a decision. How are you wanting to handle a situation or how are you wanting to, you know what are you wanting out of life? That's a big one. And again, what is that thing or an area of your life that you wish you had more courage.

That is a great starting place right to really evaluate what area of my life or what's that thing I've been desiring or yearning for but I just didn't feel bold enough, I didn't feel courageous enough to go after it. Yeah, that's a good point. I remember 2030 years ago I had started working for Mary Kay part time, the cosmetics company which as I've just shared, I was very introverted and shy, so totally the wrong business to be in at that point in my life. But my mother in law gave me a book called Feel the Fear and do it anyway. And yeah, it was a good book, I who knows where it is now. We've moved a few times but it was a really good book. I remember reading it and I like what you said, courage isn't the absence of fear. Courage is feeling the fear and doing the right thing anyway, or taking the right course of action anyway. Um and we can do it. I mean we were going to share some practical in a few minutes but just even understanding that it's not the absence of fear, I think I face fear quite a lot actually, especially running a new business by myself, like all the businesses I've owned before have been with my husband, I've never had a business all by myself and my coaching business is just me, I don't have a partner, I don't have a helper.

All of it falls on me, there can be a lot of fear. Like do I have enough time, do I have enough energy? I'm older now, can I work the same amount of hours, all those fears there, you know can come up when you're an entrepreneur and especially one that doesn't have a partner so for me this is a new thing um but we're going to feel fear every day, but can we rise up above that and still take the right action so we can live our best life. Yeah, Take the steps towards the life that you want. I have this quote probably this morning or yesterday. I don't even remember and I wish I could reference who said it. It was it was awesome. It said faith moves mountains. Fear creates them. Oh my gosh! That is so powerful. Right? Nice artwork. It probably is somewhere so credit to whoever said that, that I just listened to. But that that really resonated with me. You know that's true. We have we have a choice, we have that power to decide which direction we want to go. Am I going to let my fear be in charge?

Or am I going to let my faith be in charge and take steps towards being courageous and bold and God will work things out. God takes away and it really is a testament to our faith. I mean, you look at all the stories in the bible, right? It's like you said, be strong and courageous well for what? What's coming? What's coming my way when I know what I need to prepare for and it's very true. You know. But really every morning waking up with that mindset that come, what may? Right? I love that. I know it was a song come what may, but whatever is going to come my way, I can handle it. I got this, I have support of people around me. I have my God leading me through today. Whatever comes but I choose intentionally to be courageous today. That's great. Well actually why don't we share some practical things that have helped us, that have helped our clients and that hopefully will help our listeners to find more courage and build their courage muscle. Excellent. Okay, so first one small steps really take small steps, we can think of whatever again, whatever that area in your life that you want to practice more courage.

Um, it could be relationships, it can be, you know, friendships with your Children, with your husband, it can be work, it could be going after a new goal, It could be building a business, whatever, whatever have you, whatever that area is in your life, even finances, um, take small steps, you know, chuck it down. We look at the big goal and we can freak out. I have no idea what to do. I don't know where to start. I don't, you know, we come up with all these reasons and excuses and just, you know, that seems so rational why I don't think I could do it. So maybe that's just a pipe dream and it'll never happen. But if we start small and just take little baby steps, right, we're a big fan of what about bob? If you've seen that movie, The baby steps many years ago with Richard Dreyfuss and Bill Murray, Oh my gosh, even my kids just crack up, They love that movie. But the baby steps, baby steps to the elevator, baby steps into the door, baby steps out the door. You know, just all chunk it down to smaller stuff that seems manageable. That seemed possible And that's what it is. one ft in front of the other gets you in the right direction and gets you to reaching your goal.

Yeah. That's awesome. That's a good one. I do, I do that a lot. I have to because the big is overwhelming. So little little baby steps, great, practical. The next one is imagine the best case scenario instead of the worst case scenario because our brains are wired with a negative bias. And so it's easy to go well if I do this, I think for me like going back to the P. T. A. Thing, I think I was so quiet and shy that going to a big root group of women was intimidating. I felt like I won't have anything to say. What if they all ignore me? What if I'm wearing the wrong outfit? What if you know all the negative worst case scenarios had I had the knowledge and the skills to even think what if I meet my best friend there, What if I'm embraced into this community? What if like I never even thought that because I had such a negative bias in my mind set. So I always feared the worst. I never thought like What if it turns out really great, right? You know? And the truth is it's a 5050, we have a 50% chance of it going well, it's a 50% chance of it not, it's just our mind is wired to think negatively think worst case.

And so then we perpetuate this fear cycle. Well, it's interesting. I don't know how many listeners out there have even been given advice or have given advice that says, well what's the worst that can happen? And I've been told that and that does not help my brain. To me, it's like then I think of all the things, right, the worst things that can happen. But for some people it works. Some people can be like, Oh, that's really not that big of a deal. I couldn't handle that and that's great. Some of us cannot. Some of us need to think well what's the best thing because that's what I want to focus on. There are different options. 50% chance that it's going to go the worst case. 50% chance it will get the case. So weigh the options. It's really important to keep that in mind. It's not all going to be bad. Yeah, that's a good one. The next one is ask why and why not? So when you have an area that you're wanting to grow in or practice courage, ask yourself why, why do I want to go after this in my life. Why is this so important to me, why does this matter so much to me and really evaluate that journal.

It really helps, but really contemplate on that on that why? And that helps with motivation. The other question that really helps transform my life and my thought process when going after a goal is well why not? Because what happens when we ask ourselves why I want to go after these goals and you kind of get all excited about motivated, you feel it in your gut pretty soon. All the reasons why you shouldn't do it. All the excuses, all the reasons, all the fears, all the self sabotage, the limiting beliefs, all these, you know negative thoughts, those are going to keep coming up to, you know, trying to get you back to your safety net to your comfort zone. But when you ask, well why not then not really for me solidified. What about that is really important to me, Why does that matter? And why not go for it? You know, Am I, what I tend to do is I look way ahead. Am I going to look back on my life in 20 years and say I'm glad I didn't follow through with that or am I going to say I wish I had followed through with that because a lot of times what happens is that desire doesn't go away, we just prolong it and then made me never even reach it.

So asking why not? Is just as important as why to help with that motivation? Yeah, yeah, that's a great one and it kind of practical, number four kind of follows up with that, it's positive self talk. So it's kind of focusing on the positive, the best case scenario, the why the why not in a positive way because again our brains are always, we're always thinking the negative, right? We're like, oh I'm not good enough, I'm not worthy, I might fail, we have long lists, that's easy. Right? I don't know about you. For me, it's really easy. I've got my list of 10 go twos of why this isn't going to work and why my fears are legitimate, but to train ourselves to talk positively to ourselves and it's a lot of work, it really is not natural for most of us and it takes training and then that becomes our default, but for a while it's gonna be a lot of training, just like going to the gym, right, we talk about this all the time. You have to go to the gym more than once to sculpt your muscles. I mean, I wish it was a one and done, but unfortunately consistency apparently is the key and so you have to keep doing it.

So positive self talk. If you catch yourself saying negative, fearful worst case scenarios, just stop, just stop, like I'll even tell myself in my head, stop, I just say it stop in my head and then I turn it around and I'll try to either create a positive thought within me and if I am stuck or need more guidance, then I'm going to go to the scriptures and it's it's interesting. There's a great passage in 41 Isaiah 41 10. I love it in the message bible but says, don't panic, I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I am your God, I'll give you strength, I'll help you, I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you. So when I can't muster up some positive self talk to myself, I love going to the scriptures and especially finding different versions and this one happened to be the message bible message version and it's so good. And I feel like it's a friend talking to me and saying, hey, don't panic, I'm here with you. You know, I'm going to keep you steady and firm. I'm like, oh yeah, it's just a great reminder for me and it keeps me in that positive state of mind and I will leave you with this quote came out of the psychology today.

It says courage allows one to overcome personal limitations and pursue a full life and that is exactly what Claudine and I help our clients with right to experience life to the full abundance and help overcome fear and practice more courage in any area of your life that you're looking for. So thank you for tuning in today with us again. I hope this helps inspire you encourage you empower you. Please remember to share this podcast with some friends, many friends. We love to spread the word to get all this encouragement out to as many women as possible. So we will catch you all next week. Bye bye. Alright, everyone, Thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rice. I've been shined podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today if you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Claudine Sweeney dot com and Ashley at mind over chaos dot com.

Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life. Mhm Yeah,

Ep. 121 Strengthen Your Courage Muscle
Ep. 121 Strengthen Your Courage Muscle
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