Sunday, May 25, 2008

Courage

Courage. The dictionary defines it as "the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc.; without fear; bravery."

How many things have we not done because we wanted success the first time or because we didn't want to fail and/or "look stupid". Our society has made failure out to be a bad thing. It takes courage to fail, dust ourselves off and have another 'go'.

Failure has its place...it's a great teacher. The trick is in learning how to handle failure with grace, whether it be in sports (do you sincerely congratulate the winner for a game well-played?) or in business when you didn't get the contract for which you worked so hard.

You probably don't remember all the things you learned as a baby - eat, crawl, stand, talk - all involved failure. Did you give up? No. You kept at until you mastered whatever it was you were learning to do. Somehow, we lose that innocence and start worrying about how we look. We fear rejection. We have doubts. We compare ourselves to others.

Time to stop. How much energy goes into that? It's a cycle - a habit that we have developed to protect ourselves. The only thing is that in protecting ourselves we are also limiting ourselves.

One of the reasons I have more energy than I have had in years is because I am stopping the cycle...the endless worrying and negative self-talk that is so draining. Do I have relapses? Of course. Happily, they are fewer and further between.

Photo: Iva Villi

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