The Courage To Change

It takes courage to change things in your life that aren’t working.  I am filled with such deep respect for clients who aren’t satisfied with the status quo and opt to take on the uncomfortable and sometimes difficult changes that will ultimately improve their lives.

It is common for people to feel a certain level of misery before they seek out the change that can make their lives better. Some people experience an incredible amount of discomfort and still don’t make the changes that are required to move out of an awful emotional place.  If you are waiting to feel fearless before you change your situation – you’ll stay exactly where you are.  Courageous people feel the same fear that you have; the difference is that they do it anyway!

Remember that scene in the Wizard of Oz where the cowardly lion has his initial run in with Dorothy?  He was totally paralyzed by his fear…of everything.  The belief that he was a coward kept him stuck right where he was, in a place of anxiousness and sadness.  Yet on his journey to Oz he repeatedly shows the courage he believes he lacks. It was through taking action in spite of the fear that brought the King out of the lion. It would be nice if we all had a “great and powerful Oz”, and the reality is you have Oz inside of you right now.

When your heart tells you that it’s time for a change, don’t ignore it.  The feelings will not go away; in fact they will probably become more and more pronounced.  Ignoring what you know you need is a recipe for stress, anxiety and sickness.  Instead, figure out what you’re afraid of.  Are you staying in a relationship because you’re afraid of being alone?  Are you staying in a job with a verbally abusive boss because you are afraid you won’t find anything better?

Here are a few tips that can help you find your inner lion.

  • Look for inspiration.  Create a list of the people you admire for their courage.  What do you admire?  Were they so different than you are before they had the courage to change?
  • Focus on the positive of how changes could affect your life. Stay focused on your ultimate goal.
  • Get support.  Find a mentor and cheerleader.  Someone who can remind you of your greatness when you’re feeling unsure.
  • Create your own list of real life examples when you’ve displayed courage.  We all have them; sometimes it’s just much easier to see it in others.  If you have difficulty with this, ask someone who has known you for a long time to help.
  • Take manageable steps towards the change you want, no matter how small, that will move you forward.

It’s a mistake to underestimate the power that you have in your life.  You may need someone to shine a light on it, but it’s there!  If you need help moving you past the fears that keep you stuck, call me.

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