Courageous women are a rare breed
The topic of being a courageous woman doesn’t come up a lot unless you maybe climbed Everest or swam in shark infested waters. For the day to day woman, being courageous is something we don’t give ourselves credit for or celebrate. In a women group I am in, we began to bring this topic up and why being courageous isn’t celebrated
Being courageous is often very scary, life changing and has a ripple effect on the people in our lives. Many women will continue to do what they do, even if it doesn’t serve them well. Why is that?
- The pain of transitioning into something different is too much.
- The potential effect this change will likely have on our inner circle – Will they still like the new you? How will the relationship change?
- The current situation we are in, isn’t painful (or uncomfortable) enough to want to change it.
- We are getting some payoff by continuing on living life as it is.
Time gives us perspective that often inspires courage
I found that when I turned 40, life seemed to look different and I started to ask myself why I continued to use certain strategies in my life and if it was serving me? It was like a lightbulb moment, “Holy shit, why do I do this stuff?” For me, once a lightbulb goes off, I know in my soul something has changed forever. It is a double edged sword because on one hand, I move my life forward and am able to make the best decisions for myself and my business. On the other hand, sometimes I know the changes will be life altering and painful and I will need to be courageous to get there. I can hear the voice in my head, “Okay I know this is my path and this is going to be really hard!”
The needs for security drives many of our choices
In my small group of women through Corporate Women Unleashed, one gal was talking about how the program has helped her go to the basics of what her needs really are. Now that she is there, what she thought she wanted in life looks really different. This can be a very scary place! Especially if you are a security dominant person. Security dominant people tend to like to have a plan to stick to, know what the future holds and aren’t as comfortable with …. “Let’s just see what happens”, type of view. This is where the word “courageous” came up! It takes COURAGE to realize your authentic self and be willing to lean in. Leaning in, not knowing what is on the other side. It could be a total career shift, relationship change, new boundaries, a move, etc….
Sometimes our courageous decisions make others uncomfortable
My thoughts are that when women make courageous decisions, it makes others feel uncomfortable and/or others don’t agree with the shift. Why? Because people tend to second guess themselves. Heaven forbid we rock that world! The funny thing is, it is about no one else except the women and that is making a courageous decision for herself.
I had a “courageous” light bulb moment listening to Glennon Doyle’s book – Untamed. She was talking about how we don’t get a badge of honor for not living our best life and being selfless. We have been programmed our whole lives to give first, then take the scraps. The airline has had it right this whole time, “Put your mask on before helping others.” We can’t help others when we can’t breathe ourselves.
Others might judge us for making courageous decisions
So listening to Glennon after I made the courageous decision to end my marriage to a good man with a debilitating disease (hold your thoughts) because we both knew the dance we have done for 20 years, couldn’t continue. We were the pillar couple that brought friendships and connection to our community. If we were not making it, what does that say about everyone else’s marriage? I could go on and on… but I will stop there. Though I knew in my heart that being apart needed to happen, I sat in a lot of guilt about it. Until Glennon hit me upside the head and let me know how much courage it took for me to make a hard decision and go through the pain and backlash because of it. I don’t get a badge of honor for living a selfless life and not living authenticity. I get a badge of honor by living my true self and being courageous enough to step into whatever it may bring.
I had to practice telling myself what courage it took to make that life altering decision. Was it my truth? Yes. Would I do it all over again? Yes. Was it painful and hard at times? Yes it was very painful and hard, but I got through it and I am thriving in a new life. I have also shown my girls the importance of being true to themselves and that good always comes from challenging times.
When people change for the good, it seems to make others uncomfortable, a feeling they don’t like. Though this is a natural part of life, I believe this is why women are hesitant to be bold and courageous. But that is not how it has to be, in fact there are lots of great examples of courageous women. How are you courageous in search of living your best life?
I found this lion with a crown and I picked it up to remind me of who I am at the moments when I feel challenged or less than. I am “Nat-Queen-Courageous!” It sounds silly and yes there is a story behind it, but it fits.
Look for ways for you to be courageous in your life and look for other women doing the same thing. If you see it, celebrate it!