Practice courage and see your life thrive
It’s much easier to stay stuck, to continue feeling paralyzed by fear. You can choose to practice courage and learn the rhythms of healing and freedom.
Have you ever done something that frightens you? Well, that’s courage. What about drawing on strength in the face of pain or even grief? That’s courage too. Courage is bravery, a soul facing obstacles that would normally set them back, but choosing to move forward.
Courage is like dynamite. When lit, courage can propel you into spaces you would never usually have gone. I think that every generation needs a healthy dose of courage. We all face trials, hardships, let downs, disappointments and grief. It’s courage that enables you to continue walking forward, getting up in the morning and keeping going.
When you partner faith with courage, you can jettison fear into the distance and walk into freedom.
Learn to practice courage when facing five different fears.
Fear of rejection or of not being accepted
The symptom of one who battles this fear is mask-wearing. One could act differently with different people. Much like a chameleon who can change its colour based on its environment, the root or driving factor of this person’s behaviour is actually a fear of rejection. Then, how would it look to practice courage in this situation? Learn to accept yourself – and love yourself. The first step towards acceptance might choose the courage to be yourself. Even EE Cummings knew that, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
“Have enough courage to trust love one more time,” wrote Maya Angelou, “and always one more time.”
The second fear is one of being abandoned.
Real losses such as trauma, emotional or physical abuse, neglect, and death of a loved one can all trigger a fear of being abandoned. In an article on Fear of abandonment, Carolyn Joyce writes, “Attachment research has further shown that it’s not just what happens to people in childhood that affects their adult relationships; it’s how much they make sense of and feel the full pain of what happened to them.”
The symptoms of someone struggling with this fear could be an engagement in unhealthy relationships, co-dependency or even behaviour that reinforces this fear.
A few ways to practice courage are to seek counselling, practice self-kindness and self-acceptance. Praying with someone through your pain is also a helpful step towards healing.
Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Psalm 27:1 “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?”
Thirdly, fear of never being good enough.
I’ve had many people tell me that this is there number one fear. They fear not being enough. It keeps them up at night, directs their behaviour and decisions. Symptoms that could show you struggle with this fear are comparison, critical of self and others, over-performance, and striving beyond a healthy expression. Comparison is the thief of joy and lightness of spirit. Why compare yourself to another when no two people are alike. You are responsible for yourself, to be yourself, and that is enough.
“Peter must have thought, “Who am I compared to Mr Faithfulness (John)?” But Jesus clarified the issue. John was responsible for John. Peter was responsible for Peter. And each had only one command to heed: “Follow Me.” (John 21:20-22)” explained Swindoll Charles R.
If you were to practice courage, it could look like this: Define what is good enough for yourself. Write it down and read it (often). Accept yourself. Acceptance is a wonderfully releasing thing. I’ve discovered that when I accept the things I can’t control, then the door cracks open to joy. My encouragement to you is to come to terms with aspects of yourself as you are. And then to love yourself.
Finally, a fear of losing respect is something that many people battle.
One symptom showing that this fear is present is someone who builds walls around their hearts. Essentially, it is a fear of loss. This fear will keep you from moving forward because the walls you have built around yourself lock you in. It is possible to practice courage by choosing to allow others in, or even asking yourself, ‘What am I afraid of losing?’ Are you willing to open up even if you were to lose face?
My hope for you over the coming season is that you will have the courage to face that which scares you. May you be brave and may the walls of fear come crashing down. On the other side is everything you’ve wanted: freedom, joy, satisfaction and love.
Do you have any ways that you practice courage daily? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.