Braver than you believe
It's easy, especially right now, to find ourselves worrying about the future, considering the impact of real or suspected threats to our health, relationships, finances, career or business - any aspect of life.
Our thoughts can easily and understandably turn to questions like:
What if I get sick? Or someone in my family gets sick?
What if this downturn continues?
What if we can't afford groceries or can't pay the mortgage?
What if things get worse?
What if...........? What if...........?
And it's easy for these thoughts to end up 'on repeat' in our minds. We wonder how we will possibly cope or have the capacity to carry on or handle more hurdles, set backs or challenges.
Fear is real and is an inevitable and inescapable part of life. It also has the capacity to consume us or completely limit us, if we allow it to control us.
And sometimes in challenging times, we forget what we've already been able to handle or overcome.
Take a moment now to go back in time, to a time in your past, either recently or a while ago, when you were really tested; when something extremely challenging happened.
Each of us has at least one of those times to remember.
As you are remembering that time, come forward in time a little, to how you eventually picked yourself up, maybe after falling apart and then seeking and receiving some support from others.
Eventually you handled it.
Direct your focus now toward the positive ways that you responded; the positive attributes and qualities that you showed as you faced or responded to that challenge.
How well you actually DID handle it.
You might have surprised yourself with how well you dealt with the situation. Consider how you managed this experience, or how you maintained your sense of humour despite it all, or how you responded quickly, or how you treated or supported others, or how you just generally and eventually carried on through or after a pretty terrible experience.
Yes you may have been dazed at first, and you might have denied it was a problem, or blamed someone or something at first, you may have faltered at times, and felt sorry for yourself at times, and fallen in a heap at times. After all, you are a human being who is entitled and designed to feel the full range of human emotions at different times.
If you haven't already, take a moment right now to acknowledge yourself. Consider feeling proud, right now, of how you did end up managing to cope. You can be proud of how you managed, how you got through, how you handled you, how you maybe handled others, how compassionate you became, how resilient you grew, how you prevailed, survived, despite the situation and the circumstances you found yourself in.
Acknowledge yourself for that. Appreciate your own capacity.
The truth is that you are stronger and more resourceful than you give yourself credit for most of the time. You have powerful resources of courage and strength inside of you that come out when the going gets tough.
And at the same time as recognising these resources you have, you also know that it is OK to ask for help. You might forget this sometimes and think that you are supposed to cope on your own, and at the same time you know that you can ask for support and count on others, and you know how important that is. Asking for and accepting help is a positive, human and healthy thing.
When you show your vulnerability to others, and ask for assistance and support, and you can allow others to put their arm out and support you when you need a hand, you are allowing that courage to come out. Facing challenges isn’t something that you are designed to do on your own. People love you and they want to help.
So these resources of courage and strength that you have but don’t always remember you have – they are there and they are yours. Think of them as your own personal silent super powers.
When the going does get tough, you can remember that you don’t get to control the circumstances you find yourself in no matter how much you think you can avoid risk or prevent danger. Challenging things are going to happen – it’s built into life.
If we were all born whole and complete, and we maintained perfect health no matter how we treated our bodies, and we received unlimited love no matter how we treated others, and we had unlimited financial resources no matter what we undertook or what we did, what would be the point of life?
The contrast is what gives life meaning. The struggle is the pursuit of fulfillment. The challenges are what make this journey worth taking.
So challenges will keep coming, things that you are not expecting and not wanting will arrive, and while you realise that you often don’t have a choice in the circumstances, you know that you do have a choice in how you respond, and what you decide something means.
Isn’t it great knowing that your resources are there? That you can count on yourself, and that you can count on others.
That doesn't mean you are looking forward to the next big challenge, although knowing that you can trust in your own resources, and you can trust that you can ask for help, then you can trust that you will be okay; that you are enough, that you will be able to handle it, and you will be able to ask for help.
As Susan Jeffers, author of Feel the fear and do it anyway said, “Every time you encounter something that forces you to “handle it,” your self-esteem is raised considerably. You learn to trust that you will survive, no matter what happens. And in this way your fears are diminished immeasurably.”
Until next time,
The PLS Team