PRACTICING COURAGE IN THE WILDERNESS
Based on Living Compass “Practicing Courage with all your heart, soul, strength and mind”
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my hand.”
While we might not start many of our sentences with “I’m afraid”, we are often coming from a place of fear and if we were honest, could start a sentence with that phrase. Common examples could include, “I’m afraid … to ask for …,to talk to them about…, to apply for …, to start over …, to admit I was wrong …, to sign up for …, to reach for …, to commit to …, to try …, to express how I really feel …, to ask for help …, to say no.”
Fear is often what keeps us from moving out of our comfort zones and yet, when we acknowledge that fear, it can actually make us more comfortable to go ahead an act even though we are afraid.
I remember being with a group that was standing just outside the pyramids in Cairo, Egypt. The tour guide began to describe what it would be like when we entered the pyramid and I quickly began to feel claustrophobic. My heart was racing, my fear was pulsating throughout my body. I did not want to go into this small tunnel, but I also did not want to miss the opportunity. I reached out to the man standing in front of me. I told him how afraid I was and asked if he would mind holding my hand if I reached out to grab it. He smiled and said very kindly that he understood and there would be no problem. Just by naming and sharing my fear though helped to calm me down right away.
I discovered that pushing through my fear was less frightening than living with the bigger underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness!