You may recall this week’s return guest as a living example of the Girls Trek Too mission: “to inspire women to live life as an adventure.” Sandra Ford Walston does that every day as America’s Courage Expert, and I’m grateful she has returned to share more of her tips on courageous living. Sandra is the author of the bestseller Courage: The Heart and Spirit of Every Woman. She’s a speaker, trainer, and coach who has helped thousands, from individuals to Fortune 500 Companies, move from StuckThinking™ into courageous leadership. This week she shares with us a list of 12 ways to embrace and express the courage we all carry within us:
12 Things to Love About Courage
By Sandra Ford Walston
“Courage can’t see around corners, but goes around them anyway.”
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960
Everyone can learn to practice courage regardless of career or position. It does not matter if you are a sales associate, graphic designer, project manager, photographer, accountant, administrative assistant, CEO, entrepreneur, journalist, construction worker, electrician, mechanic or stockbroker – you can learn to manifest courage in your work.
But first you need to know the actions of courage; only then can you apply them and transform your work. Once you begin exhibiting courage at work, you will discover a direct correlation between your courage quotient and your success quotient. What would motivate you to explore where the components of this ancient virtue fit in your work life today?
Review this list of 12 Things to Love about Courage and assess whether you come from a reservoir of courage in your work and personal life:
1. I love that my courage allows me to spread my wings and be all I can be. I am driven by an internal courage-fueled energy field that magnifies my spirit’s fulfillment. My courage is my antitoxin that I apply to setbacks, hurts, or duties. How did I start this process? I gave myself permission to express my individuality! (Did someone clip your wings?)
2. I love that my courage supports me to exit bad situations quickly. Knowing my personal courage mindset allows me to embrace the courage opportunities I face on my journey. I am no stranger to my courage. I also know that I may feel unjustly punished when I stand in my courage, but courage provides the inner strength to rise above the “victim” mindset. My actions become consistently balanced with my courage consciousness. I love my courage! (Are you a stranger to your courage?)
3. I love that my courage sustains me to design a life diminished of regrets. My courage centeredness defines my intentions. Each step (large or small) is an achievement. When my time comes to leave this life, I want to be able to say and feel in my heart, “I have no regrets. I did it my way.” (Do you remain deeply consistent with your intentions? If so, reach for the rainbow!)
4. I love that my courage requires me to hold myself one hundred percent accountable for my life’s experiences. I knowingly design those happenings each moment. Courage consciousness supports me as I strive to live in the vibration of my true self. With courage, humility and gratitude merge to dissipate all illusions of self-importance. (What life mosaic are you designing?)
5. I love that my courage competencies expand as I step up the ladder called life. Stepping up reinforces my reservoir of courage, which sustains me until I am ready to take the next exciting step. That next step may be asking for a tough project or changing my hair color. I focus on the ancient Chinese proverb: “He who hesitates before each step spends his life on one leg.” Living in courage is economical—it cuts out a myriad of missteps. (Is your range of courage expanding?)
6. I love that my courage self-differentiates me, defining my “brand value.” The driver behind courage is the meaningfulness of my life. These qualities are portrayed through my convictions. My courage allows me to reflect. Choosing some form of reflection, I can learn to be more present to the truth of my personal branding distinction. (What is your brand value?)
7. I love that my courage guides me to focus on best results. Combining intention with action, courage arms me for success. The power of my spirit illuminates the steps that correlate my success quotient with my courage quotient. (Are you willing to sacrifice the external world to find your internal world? It takes courage to design your personal blueprint.)
8. I love that my courage is a friend during times of uncertainty or difficult transitions. There is no need for me to run from myself. My courage permits me to be innately motivated. In courage, my life expresses my heart’s core, reflecting the root meaning of the word courage: “heart and spirit.” (Does your life express your heart, your core, your courage?)
9. I love that my courage develops my success. I develop my success by declaring my intent. My self-esteem supports me during demanding times. I know that hard decisions come alive in the questions, not the answers. Questions inspire actions. I see events as opportunities rather than sources of anxiety. Wisdom often dawns in the midst of pain, providing words of encouragement that should be shared with others. (Do you think that success is elusive, or that courage is a barrier to a happy life? What might change if you instead saw both as opportunities for your light to shine?)
10. I love that my courage self-propels me. I am able to reinvent myself as often as needed. I know that conformity is a courage killer. I focus on my accomplishments and maintain a tough measure of accountability. Self-discipline thwarts any mediocrity that might keep me stuck or in anguish. (Are you powerfully passionate about who you are? Nothing is more valuable than deepening your sense of who you are.)
11. I love that my courage allows me to stand in my dignity. I do not need to manipulate situations. I know storms will enter my life. They offer opportunities for an honest assessment of my vulnerabilities. Courage supports me to delve beyond my ego’s old behavioral scripts to uncover emotional pain and rewrite those scripts. Only I can choose to stop my suffering created by my ego. (How frequently do you witness a mea culpa?)
12. I love that my courage advances my voice. When I confront an uncomfortable truth, the essence of my authentic courage comes to light, and I claim this energy. In Latin, “virtue” means “energy.” (Is courage your unsung hero?)
Courage is the gift that lifts your spirit! What action will you take to fall in love with your courage.?
Sandra Ford Walston, The Courage Expert, is an international speaker who also provides training for respected organizations such as IBM, Wide Open West, and Hitachi Consulting. She’s author of 3 books – COURAGE, STUCK, and FACE IT! – and the Courage Blog. She’s qualified to administer and interpret the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, is a certified Enneagram teacher, and an instructor at University of Denver.