“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
The beginning of a new year represents a time of hope, a time for fresh starts, new goals and new connections to self and others. I find it perfect that the beginning of a new calendar year happens in winter, the season that calls for us to turn inward for reflection, self-acceptance, and self-growth. This nurturing energy of winter supports the opportunities a new year brings and invites us to be intentional and take stock of the previous year, to acknowledge any successes, reflect on what worked and what didn’t work, and to be honest about using this information to build upon and purposefully move forward into the new year with clear goals and visions for ourselves.
Today, as I look to 2019 and to the continued self and professional work that I am committing to, I am deciding to chose a word to frame my year ahead. This word will embody the character of who I want to be and who I need to become in the upcoming year as I strive to make positive changes in my personal and professional life. This word will be the lens through which I focus my intentions and develop my vision, goals, and action steps for the year.
My word for 2019 is COURAGE.
Courage is a word often used to describe heroes or those who commit a heroic act in the face of grave or life threatening danger. These true heroes are indeed, courageous. However, the courage I am speaking of lives more on a spiritual plane, embodied in the heart and not always seen or recognized by others. This type of courage defines the small, daily acts that one takes to discover, honor, and live in alignment with their true selves. It’s in the ability to live with uncertainty and take action nonetheless, to understand that outcomes are not guaranteed and yet to trust and love what shows up. It’s in the decision to live a created life, a life on purpose and by design instead of a allowing a life of default and chance.
As a Life and Wellness Coach, I have the honor to work with clients who show me this type of courage every day as they dive deeply within themselves to sit with, untangle, and reframe their insecurities and fears in order to move past them and achieve real success with their personal and professional goals. They model courage to me in their decisions to end dysfunctional relationships, overcome old patterns of self-sabotage, take risks and speak their truths for the first time or try new behaviors that are more aligned with their health and wellness goals. Courage is what paves the journey of many who begin the allowing of feelings, all feelings both painful and joyful. The greatest courage I often see is in the desire and determination of parents I work with to end dysfunctional familial patterns of fear, shame, or anxiety so that their children grow with confidence and a sense of self-worth and safety.
This deep inner work can be messy, uncomfortable, and often times downright scary. It is, however, powerful, liberating and absolutely life-changing. It is work that I am daily committed to because as a Life Coach, I cannot take my clients any deeper than I have gone within myself. This work of personal growth and evolution is essential to me in my life. One of my favorite quotes by Margaret Young states “You first must BE who you really ARE in order to DO the things that will get you what you really WANT.” This being who we really are is all about the work of cultivating profound inner belonging and navigating from a place of internal validation, of knowing our self-worth and self-value instead of looking to others for approval or acceptance. It’s about listening to and honoring our inner guidance and inner wisdom and making decisions based on true self-knowing. It’s about working through the swirling thoughts and gripping sensations of fear in order to make daily decisions to lean into the discomfort and uncertainty of new growth territories instead of avoiding them by numbing with substances, food, busyness, care taking, or any of the other myriad of ways we numb to avoid. These small daily decisions of becoming take courage as we step out of our comfort zones. We absolutely do not grow inside of our comfort zones and by choosing to lean in and live at it’s edge, we push it out bit by bit. Actions that once took courage to do are soon done with ease and confidence and we can then lean in and find our edge again and continue growing and achieving.
So, yeah, courage. It’s my word for 2019. It both challenges and excites me.
What about you? How can you invite courage into your goals and dreams for 2019? What courageous boundary can you initiate within yourself or with others that will ignite a flicker of self-pride and have you standing a bit taller? What quiet moments can you weave into your busy day that can provide the space for even a fleeting presence of courage to step in and take root?
Comment below or find me on Facebook to share how you can see courage playing a role in your life for 2019 or to share a different word that you come up with for yourself. I would love to hear!