The COVID19 pandemic has been an exercise in courage from all of us trainers at IntoYou, we had to learn some new skills and technology ? literally overnight.?
We had to re-learn how to interact with clients through a screen, and how to keep up the quality of our movements in our clients without being able to touch them. Many of you had to learn these skills too, and the sheer volume of online offerings has been overwhelming for you. The threat of disease, lifelong dysfunction, and being cut-off from friends and family was the environment we all learned to live in; and for the sake of our kids, we also learned to home-school while putting on a brave face through our fear.
Courage is about feeling the fear, but doing what you’ve got to do anyway.
When i was learning to live with the threat of my rare cancer returning (it was a malignant tumour, removed 2018), i really struggled to be brave because i had nothing to grab on to. There was no reason for me to develop a rare form of a rare tumour, and there was nothing i could do to stop it returning. I developed crushing anxiety from fearing the ?boogiemen? (which were carcinogens) that were literally everywhere. They were in the additives in packaged foods, leached from plastics in to my water, belched in to the air i breathed, and so on. I talk a little bit about this here: Daily Moments of Courage. (you may have to sign up to The Life Enhancement Project to see this, but you get 2 weeks free, so do it!
The thing is, we are conditioned to be inspired only by large acts of courage; fire-people running in to burning buildings, people leaping out of aeroplanes, fighting wars, our nurses on the COVID19 frontline, and so on. But equally courageous are those tiny acts of courage that we have to drum up everyday. One of the examples in The Project was from Claire, who grew up in extreme poverty and is now fearful of an empty fridge or bare cupboards. Everyday she has to face the cupboard and face that fear, while pretending nothing is wrong. It is so much harder for her to face an empty cupboard than someone who is not afraid, and that is why true courage is always hand-in-hand with fear. Truly courageous people aren?t brave or fearless. They?re filled to the brim with fear, anxiety, uncertainty. They?re courageous because they face it head on, despite the fear.
So we encourage you to acknowledge your fears right now. Are you afraid of returning to work and public transport? Are you afraid that you?re not a good enough teacher to teach your kids at home? Or a good enough parent because you sent them to school? Are you afraid of losing your job? Of putting on weight? Of people seeing you without makeup?
And once you acknowledge what you?re afraid of, start LIVING anyway. If you?re afraid of wearing a swimsuit to the beach, start by wearing one around your house, or work with a friend (or us) towards not giving a flying-ass of what other people think! If these fears are getting in the way of the life you want to live, then you need to start building courage in respect to them, so in the very least they don?t stop you!
Right here, I want to pause a moment and acknowledge how courageous us mums have been already. Think back to March, and the life we used to live. Think about the changes you had to make very quickly, KNOWING that the Northern Beaches was a hotspot fairly early on. Remember those first few supermarket visits when there was nothing on the shelves, and we were being forcefully separated from other people? How that felt? GO MAMAS! I am very proud of what you’ve been through just to get to this point! But wait, there’s more!
There?s a step-by-step article on building courage by life coach, Justin Miller, here. In a nutshell:
- Exercise it often. If you?re scared or nervous, then you are exercising courage to complete that activity. Every time you successfully navigate a situation that scares you it builds confidence.
- Accept anguish. Because sometimes you?ll fail, or your fears will materialise. This is okay!
- Courage is not invincible. Just because you learn to face your fears, doesn?t mean you?ll stop being afraid, sorry!
- Commit. Just to small steps, don?t overwhelm yourself, but one little pledge at a time will make a big difference to your quality of life, and the life you want to model to your children (THIS is powerful!)
- Look for the flashing neon sign. Or as we say, ?listen to your body?. If you?re tired, rest, if you have energy, exercise. If you feel like crap, take a look at your lifestyle and make some changes! Our goal is to have each and every one of you bouncing out of bed everyday!
We are going to finish with a quote from Rollo May in his book ?The Courage to Create?:
The acorn becomes an oak by means of automatic growth; no commitment is necessary. The kitten similarly becomes a cat on the basis of instinct. Nature and being are identical in creatures like them. But a man or woman becomes fully human only by his or her choices and his or her commitment to them. People attain worth and dignity by the multitude of decision they make from day by day. These decisions require courage.
Day by day. Each one decision. Many will require discomfort, nervousness, and courage. As the gym junkies say “life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.
Clare is managing director of IntoYou: Life Enhancement Centre, a personal training studio committed to enhancing your life through self-esteem coaching, styling. nutrition coaching, exercise, laughter, play, and pampering!