Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid? That is the only time a man can be brave his father told him. Game of Thrones
It takes courage to live a good life. It takes courage to stand up to injustice. It takes courage to question bad laws and the status quo. It takes courage to raise a family. It takes courage to stand in front of a group and pledge our troth. It takes courage to leave marriages that aren’t working. It takes courage to stay and try to rebuild a troubled marriage. It takes courage to change anything in our lives.
Courage is needed in every part of our lives. Maya Angelou said courage is the most important virtue because without courage we won’t be strong enough to embrace any of the other virtues.
Courage is hard because it can’t exist without fear. To understand courage we first have to understand fear. Courage is facing our fears and doing something anyway. Courageous people never stop feeling scared, and we have to be okay with this. Courage only feels good when the scary thing is over. There is always another fear to face and overcome. This is the cycle of life.
Do we need to step out of our comfort zone if we are to discover our passion, accomplish our goals, and find happiness? We can get set in our ways, we keep doing what we’ve always done, and we keep getting what we’ve always gotten. How can anything change if nothing changes?
In life, they say we are either growing or dying. Growth is about progress. Progress is about movement. Movement is about stepping outside our comfort zone and pushing our self to the next level.
Every ceiling when reached becomes a floor upon which one walks. Every fearful opportunity that seems completely out of our grasp will eventually feel more comfortable as you face the fear. You will then be amazed at how much anxiety the thought of it used to give you. Aldous Huxley
Do we always read the same books, think the same thoughts, go to the same type of places, eat at the same restaurants. One of my book club buddies goes with her family on a trip every year. They were going on cruises and down to the Caribbean. They got out of their comfort zone and went to Morocco or Turkey and were blown away by the experience. Now they want to see the world and for their anniversary are going to Tuscany.
We hear about bucket lists, maybe we have one. That is a way of getting out of our comfort zone. Meeting new people and joining new groups can get us out of our comfort zone.
I keep writing about Toastmasters because public speaking for most people is out of their comfort zone. It is a powerful way to push our self and we see growth in ourselves and other people who get up and tell their stories haltingly, emotionally, and hesitantly become bolder, confident, and pursue other goals.
Stress is fear in disguise. If we call it fear we know we should face it. If we call it stress it seems like something we can’t do anything about. We feel quite comfortable saying “I’m so stressed”, who among us would be so comfortable saying “I’m so scared?”
Do we need to face our fears and be comfortable with being uncomfortable? Isn’t it also important to create balance in our lives? Our comfort zone may be killing us if we don’t get out of it enough. Watching TV is comfortable but it isn’t good for us if we do it too much. Is it bad to enjoy a TV show with a snack and our family around us? No, we should create a balance between being in our comfort zone and stepping out of it. Are we challenging ourselves enough? Are we relaxing enough? Can we embrace courage the most important virtue?
You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own and you know what you know, and you are the guy who will decide where to go. Dr. Seus
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