Courage, Control & Truth

I recently started working more closely with a trusted practitioner. I asked her to help me in a coaching capacity to help with a multitude of things. One of my first tasks was to identify my goals and narrow down my priorities. This is often a hard task for the girl who wants to do it all at once. Surprisingly my top three priorities jumped out at me while reading a goal list from about 1.5 years ago.

Currently my top three priorities are:

  • Continue finding out who I truly am and fully love, accept and live that girl. Live an authentic and honest life – stop pretending and drop the masks.
  • Not live afraid.
  • Stop controlling and be at peace with that.

To follow that up, I wrote on three questions relating to each priority. I wanted to share my answers with you to make them more real to me and with the hopes of helping/encouraging at least one of you 🙂

What does fearlessness mean to me?

I don’t really like the word “fearlessness”. To me that communicates an absence of fear, which I don’t think is realistic for human beings. We are all prone to fear and I don’t believe someone who says they don’t experience fear or anxiety.

The word I do like is “courage“. The dictionary defines “courage” as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty”. Some synonyms include bravery, daring, gutsiness, heroism and fortitude. A few simple straight-forward descriptions of courage that I like are:

  • Feel the fear and do it anyway
  • Do it afraid

I look at fear as a feeling, but courage as a decision. To me courage is choosing not to follow my feelings of fear when they don’t serve me. Walking in courage is stepping into the unknown and/or scary if it is something I want or feel called to do.

Courage is living life boldly following my path and callings regardless of what others think, say, do or expect. Courage is leaning in and allowing myself to be guided through the tough stuff in life rather than running from it. Courage is dropping my “weapons” and “protection” and opening myself up to all the joys and pains of life – living truly awake and vulnerable rather than guarded, numb and in a stupor.

Courage is opening myself up to true intimacy, allowing myself to be fully known by another and being willing to fully know someone else. Courage is admitting my struggles and areas of growth and being willing to receive those in another. Courage is living honest and true to myself and God.

I used to think that courage was demonstrated in big grandiose displays. Today I am coming to believe more and more that courage is really about the small steps that I take everyday that challenge me and take me out of my comfort zone.

What does living true to myself really look like?

Living true to myself means living honestly and authentically, being real. I’m not pretending or hiding who I really am. Fear does not control me. It means getting to know all of me and accepting myself completely so I can be that entire person – embracing all of her so I can be all of me and show that to the world.

Living true to myself means not compromising or people pleasing just to gain approval or avoid criticism, rejection or abandonment (or the perception or fear of experiencing these). Living true to myself is about integrity – my inner self and outer self match. There are no masks or chameleon behavior, I am who I am regardless of circumstance or company. Living true to myself is honoring and appreciating who and how God created me to be. It is grabbing God’s hand and facing life head on with honesty, authenticity and integrity without apologies.

If I were to loosen the reigns of my own control, what do I think my life would be like?

My fear is that I would spin completely out of control and my life would be very chaotic. I fear trusting – particularly God and myself. I fear making decisions. I am much more likely to trust other people and follow them and essentially allow them to make my decisions for me or tell me what to do.

Despite the fears, deep down there is an intuitive knowing that if I loosen the reigns of my own control, my life would be more free, peaceful and joyful. It would be more authentic, natural, organic and true to who I am and have been created to be. I would be more whole.

My like would be lived from more of a transformed, inspired place rather than being a series of transactions, checking off the boxes and “following the rules”. My thoughts, words and actions would be more in sync. My heart, soul, mind and emotions would be more connected, hence my wholeness. I wouldn’t be so fragmented within myself.

In writing and meditating on this, I realized that the common thread here is fear. Tackle the fear and the rest falls into place. This will be a life-long journey for me. Currently, I am taking small steps and experiencing small fruits of my labor.

What about you? What are you working on or would like to work on?