Choosing Courage in the Day to Day
Before getting started, I would like to take a moment to introduce myself and share a couple of things.
First, I am Mo Jones, a writer, Podcast host of choose courage daily and motivational speaker. Second, I am a wife, a mom and most importantly a woman who has been on a life seeking journey of choosing courage, particularly when it comes to owning the power of my voice.
Whew…..that just took courage!
Here I am finally stepping into courage and owning myself. ALL. OF. ME.
See, I didn’t always know how to use my voice. Growing up as an introvert (and I still ask myself was this really me or did I believe the label I was given?), I found myself thinking I had to sound like my family, my sisters or some prescribed version of who I was supposed to be. This often left me feeling lost and full of doubt. Playing small. Often hiding. Not being seen and heard.
I was on a quest to find my voice. Little did I know it would lead me to the world of Speech Language Pathology.
I do believe you are often called to do the work you are meant to do and I think that was definitely the case for me in becoming a Speech Language Pathologist.
I went to become a Speech Language Pathologist to help others find their voice but little did I know how impactful it would be in helping me find my own voice.
And that impact was even more profound as I began working with women entrepreneurs and helping them use their voice in the online space to grow their audience and their business.
Throughout my own journey and my work with women entrepreneurs, I found one common thread: COURAGE.
COURAGE: that seven letter word where the magic begins.
It wasn’t necessarily confidence, which I’ll talk about in another post.
It wasn’t a just do it attitude. And it wasn’t, I am going to wait to get over the fear before I show up and speak online.
So what is COURAGE?
The Oxford dictionary defines COURAGE as the ability to do something that frightens one and strength in the face of pain and grief.
As I dug deeper into this definition and thought about my own personal journey and the women I have worked with, I wondered what was it about courage that allowed us to face our fears?
I learned it was the ability to choose COURAGE over and over again and to do so in spite of the fear, in spite of the doubt or any of the limiting beliefs that would creep up.
It was me choosing the courage to learn how to use my voice over and over again. And for the women entrepreneurs I coached, it was them facing their fears to push that record button to speak and go live online.
So how do you choose courage over and over again?
You might think you were born with all the courage you will ever need. But in reality, courage is like a muscle that you have to work at building time and time again.
You have to put yourself in spaces to practice courage. You have to constantly practice choosing courage over and over again. Just like going to the gym, your muscles don’t get strong after one session. It takes showing up session after session, week after week to put in the work and effort.
I am not always a fearless person. I have had to learn to embrace fear and choose courage over and over again. As a result, there were times I was so afraid I would hide behind courage. Many times I would choose courage and do it while I was afraid. Other times courage and I would dance together and be completely in sync.
Four Tips to Help You Choose Courage
I will share with you four tips that have worked for me in choosing courage and hope that it will help you along in your courage journey.
- Breathing: whenn faced with a fear that requires me to put on my courage pants, I always start with breathing. Breathing helps your body relax, giving you the ability to get centered and calm. Focus on inhaling courage and exhaling fear. The moment you begin doing this exercise, you will find your body relaxing and better prepared for your next steps.
- Name Your Fear: ask yourself – What am I most afraid of? Take the time to acknowledge and name your fear. By naming your fear and writing it down, it begins to lose its power over you. It allows you to see your fear on paper and you can begin to come up with ways to embrace your fear, which leads me to my next tip.
- Embrace Your Fear: Once you have named your fear, embrace it. So many times you want to run from the fear or just want it to go away. The fear will always show up so learning to embrace it helps you know it doesn’t have to control you. I often speak directly to my fear and thank it for showing up because it reminds me to take the steps towards growing and becoming a better version of myself.
- Take Action: it can be so easy to be stuck in fear that you don’t do anything. One of the best things you can do once you embrace fear is to start building your courage muscle and take action. Take one small action step each day to move you forward. Start with a small step that will help you be successful.
For example, if you have a fear of speaking online, record your voice and listen to it over and over again so you begin to get comfortable with your voice. If you’re starting a business, use Google to help you figure out a plan or if you want to learn how to paint, buy some paint and some brushes and have fun with it. Then, sign up for a beginner class where you can meet others at the same level as you.
It’s A Journey
Know that choosing courage is a journey. Sometimes it will be easy and you will have all the courage you need. Other times you will wonder why you can’t muster up the courage to get to the other side. But many times you will surprise yourself in how courageous you can be when faced with fears and challenges. But the more you keep on practicing courage, the stronger you become.
As Brene Brown writes in her book The Gifts of Imperfection, “Courage is…a habit, a virtue: You get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming”.
You have to choose courage. You have to keep showing up. And you have to keep doing it over and over again.
Therefore, whether it’s speaking live online, or learning how to swim, or tapping into your creative soul, or taking that leap of faith to move across the country, keep showing up and choose courage daily.
I would love to hear any tips you might have on choosing courage. Leave a comment below or send me a DM Instagram. I would love to hear from you!
I also created a choose courage daily journal to help along your journey and help you discover how brave you can really be. You can purchase it on Amazon.
Love and Courage.