Walking the Courageous Path

Walking that crucial path means being more risky and take actions that are against your status quo. You begin to move in foreign lands and you build new road maps of your life. Consequently, it becomes more accurate, colourful yet deep and meaningful like contour numbers conveying depth.
If you do this long and consistently enough (being sure to comfort and reassure yourself along the way), you begin to realise how illusory your fear really is. As it fades, possibility grows. Liberated, you realise how you thought, act and generally how you were previously was so unnecessary. You stop self identifying with the past.

walking-the-courageous-path
Travelling, for example, was one of my biggest first leaps of faith that required courage, resilience and trust in myself and for whatever was in store for me. I learned that the world is not as scary as the news makes it out to be, and people are mostly good no matter what continent you’re on. I learned indirectly from counselling to be courageous in extending love to others and at times, I’ve even caught people by surprise by my openness with them because I know on some deep level, they resonate with my honesty. I learned from writing a book that nothing is not too late to pursue if you have the courage to implement it. If it doesn’t work out, there is always the small comfort of knowing that you tried. But the important part is that you tried and learned instead of allowing fear to swallow the energy you could have used to go for it.

To have fear and do something anyway stems from our core which is determined to grow. Serious growth can be spurred on from our defining sweaty moments of anxiety, uncertainty and self doubt. These definitive moments are intrinsic to your development of identity and self.

What I would say is lean into experiences that we’re afraid of doing and don’t run away from them. In every situation there is a key learning for you and the more experiences you accumulate, the wiser you are and not only that, you begin to see how strong you really are. And you will be shocked.
Your strength is demonstrated and vindicated through practice, whether it’s through a breakup or losing a job. The critical factor here is that you realise it. Once you do, there’s no going back. Fear is reduced, if not eradicated and it’s taunting doesn’t influence you as much. Love can be found in more places than you realised and you see people have the ability to react to love from others, even strangers. You will see things and people for how they really are, not how you thought they were.

The more codes you break the more you come to know yourself, and the world. And I think you will do humanity a great service in doing so.

‘Now you are no longer caught
in the obsession with darkness,
and a desire for higher love-making
sweeps you upward.

Distance does not make you falter.
Now, arriving in magic, flying,
and finally, insane for the light,
you are the butterfly and you are gone.

And so long as you haven’t experienced
this: to die and so to grow,
you are only a troubled guest
on the dark earth.’
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Self Value from Within, Not Others

When faced with a challenge or situation, I’ve realised that one of the first ports to call is checking your internal strength; your self love and acceptance.

I became anxious recently when faced with a new challenge that involved managing others, and was put into a leadership related position – something I had little to no experience in. Ultimately, it was a real test of how much faith and belief I had in myself and my capability.

Confience-through-self-acceptance

Because I was unsure of myself, it came across very strongly to others and because they verified this back to me, it only became stronger to the point where I was afraid to take any course of action, or apply any kind of solid decision or solution.

I basically froze.

I spent some time agonising over this whilst being really disappointed in myself. Continually refilling myself with negative emotions, it morphed into a vicious cycle that I kept feeding.

Only when I talked it over with someone did I manage to emotionally untangle myself and gain a more objective, less fearful perspective on the situation. It involved detaching my value from what others thought of me and realised that was the key reason for my perception of self inadequacy and my fear in taking action. The fear of being doubted and questioned by others froze me and deprived me of opportunity for growth and learning.

All I can say is that you need to be prepared to be wrong, to make mistakes and not judge yourself because of it. Once you do it’s game over and you’re back in the cycle. Acceptance for your humanity and treating yourself like you would a friend in distress is key. No self criticising is going to make you feel any better so why do it?

View yourself like a plant that needs nurturing and watering. How you do this is focusing on self acceptance and self love, a place where there is no judge, jury or barristers. A place only you can take yourself. Everything else stems from this and will influence the choices you make and life is too short for anything else.

Once I realised all this I was then ‘unfrozen’ to take action, and achieved enough mental clarity to realise what I had to do. I devised the next steps for my group and then took action.

Letting go of being self conscious of what others think of you frees you up enough to focus on acceptance of yourself and from that, confidence. Don’t let the small things stop you.

To Embrace the New, We Must Let Go of the Old

New brings challenge and untested waters and calls on us to act and behave in certain ways we may not have done before. They can collide with closely held beliefs about the self and the world which can see an individual struggling with a transition from a previous situation into a new one. A person in this phase is essentially building new neural pathways in their brain and it takes much more work to lay down bricks by oneself as opposed to old ones that may have been laid down by our family, friends and other people we have experienced over the course of our lives. Embracing the new means rewiring our brains. And that’s hard.

To-Embrace-the-New

Challenging closely held beliefs takes extra effort and a good scoop of bravery. For me, it’s a course I’m doing at the moment in starting your own business. I’ve always worked for employers so it demands of me a completely new perspective on risk, acquiring essential skills never practiced before e.g. team building, leadership and weathering through a series of emotional hurdles (e.g. anxiety) that I never expected.

Through all of this, I’ve had to teach myself self-compassion and patience for myself and others. I’ve had to try new techniques to manage my anxiety and maintain an open mind towards the other people on my course.

I’ve found that once I started to let go of a variety of issues that have arose as a result of being on the course, I had Feng Shuied the clutter in my mind and had more space within to allow for new information and ways of outlook. I then began to practice something called ‘Bracketing’, a term referenced in a book called The Road Less Travelled.

‘Bracketing’ refers to whenever someone is experiencing something new for the first time, that they practice a self-disciplining technique of leaving their past experiences, prejudices and other experiences at the door so there is no room for comparison and observe whatever is going on in a non-judgemental way. This leaves ample room for more learning and seeing things/people as they really are.

Another interesting approach is what Buddhists call The Beginner’s Mind. It’s a state of mind where there is no mental attachment to achievements or the self and all possibilities are accepted. The mind is empty and filled with compassion.

I’ve personally found these kinds of practices difficult, as my mind always wants to race off on it’s own tangent and switch back to default mode. But what I’ve gained from using approaches has been unreal. Your perspective on yourself and the world completely changes you, and you are altered permanently. I have by no means mastered them and my mind still runs on it’s default Grand Prix race most of the time. But I’ve had glimpses and insight enough to know they are worth attaining and you take this with you everywhere.

You find on this kind of journey that choices you made previously on your life are non-nonsensical and you begin to become the master of your own life. You eventually move to a place where you are totally in control of your life. Certainly, not all events and people that are in it but insofar as within the capacity of yourself and actions.

Once you move to that final stage people will be naturally drawn to you, unconsciously moving towards you because your way of life is what they want themselves, whether they know it or not.