STEPPING INTO COURAGE
What will they think? What if I look foolish? What if I fail? What if he/she doesn’t like me because of it? Have you had any of these questions going though your head or perhaps something similar? I sure know I have and over the weekend I stepped forward out of the fear of what others would think and stepped deeper into courage. Was it scary? Hell yes!
For those of you who know me, you know me to be outgoing, someone who can talk to anyone and make others comfortable quickly. Yep – that’s me! However, what you may not know is I still like to have a cohort! Usually I don’t even need that person right by me as simply knowing they are there gives me great confidence. Well that’s at any other kind of outing but free hugs. At free hugs, I want you RIGHT THERE! I have been doing free hugs for six years and truly LOVE IT. However, its a time I face (or don’t face) a fear of mine, and that is ‘what will others think’ of me?! I am almost always the first one there, I fiddle with the signs, I check-in on Facebook, I see if anyone has texted/called that they are on their way….basically – I stall until someone comes to join me. People all over the world give free hugs solo, yet insecurity wells up in me that people will feel sorry for me as I need the hug rather than giving the hug. Absurd – absolutely, yet the feelings are real. Once another hugger is there, I step into service mode and love the rest of the event. This past Saturday, I was the first one there and I fiddled with the signs for a few moments, looked both ways to see if I saw Tony coming, and then decided to step into courage, grabbed a sign and stood solo! I did it for 15 minutes until he came and I must say that first hug seemed to be 10 minutes into it, however a hug came within the first few minutes, then another, and another. I stepped into courage and started saying “Happy Saturday” and giving eye contact just like I would if I had other huggers there. It wasn’t easy but it was empowering. I still like having my partner in crime with me, yet I will remember I am my best partner when I step fully into my best self.
Moving forward, I encourage you to step into being your best self by: Releasing the importance of others opinions and believing in the importance of YOUR opinion for YOU. It’s your fear that speaks to their opinions as when you step into YOUR best self, you shine so bright that naysayers are lifted. LOVING YOU…all of you. What you are confident at, what makes you smile, what makes you who you are, and yes, loving the scared little girl (or boy) in you as when you bring light to fear, it begins to fade away. Mostly, my wish for you this week is for you to dream big, then a little bigger and go after what it is that brings you the greatest joy, happiness and LOVE. YOU are what makes your life remarkable, others enhance or detract from it. Choose people who hold you high as they will be your partner in crime when little you pops in for a visit. Until next time, show up for YOU this week and let me know how it goes.
Words to LOVE by:
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ~ Nelson Mandela “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
“We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” ~ Maya Angelou