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  • Writer's pictureSarah M.


What a thing to say to someone; shame on you.

Shame, such an uncomfortable word and feeling.

Shame is learned. We are not born with shame. So when you think "I'm not good enough" ask yourself where did I learn this from. - Dania Chebib

This quote from Dania Chebib a Psychotherapist from British Columbia, Canada really hit me, and simultaneously I realized that I have become so courageous since then.

Obviously age and experiences contribute to leaving shame and finding courage along with your inner strength but looking at people I had and have around me, play a significant role as well.

This made me realize that courage is truthfully a habit, a muscle you can exercise. And because most of us aren’t born courageous, we shouldn’t expect to magically acquire it without practice. 

Story time: I used to work with this very vivacious woman some 15+ years ago and she could talk to anyone. She'd dive right in and have a conversation in "any" language (or that's what it looked like to me). She seemed fearless and to me that was a kind of superpower.

Back then I struggled to be even slightly like her, she had those "don't fuck with me" kinda vibes and I wanted some of that too. Maybe she was faking it, but to me it looked like she owned the place; every place in fact. I was even in awe of her fearlessness on answering and talking on the phone; I, myself was literally scared to talk on the phone with basically anybody; I'd have to "rehears" my lines, wipe my sweaty palms and calm my shaking body. But because of her example, stuff like calling the Gods of Norse wouldn't be a thing these days.

Brene Brown writes in her book The Gifts of Imperfection, “Courage is like - it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: You get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.” Courage is the choice and willingness to confront the uncomfortable, it means being afraid and acting anyway, even though you might not know this from looking around at our culture, which celebrates fearlessness, courage is still something that everybody wants. However living fearlessly is not about being tougher than someone else, it's the ability to act on your beliefs despite danger or disapproval. (This is also a great time to remind you that arrogance and confidence are two different things. Be mindful.)

Avoiding discomforts actually gives them power and exposing yourself to your fears can help the brain become desensitized and make it easier to face them. Learning how to be courageous, even if it is just to make a silly phone call, really does come from practice.

Take that leap. If you are in a situation where you have to pick up a spider, jump in some cold water or ask someone out on a date, do it without hesitation, you might end up talking yourself out of it before you even get a chance.

Start small. Start with actions that induce less fear and require less courage to accomplish.

Know your limits. There are certain things that we just cannot do, and that is ok. Focus on building your courage, like putting a glass over the spider, so someone else can take care of it. But remember to learn how to acknowledge, read and recognize situations; are they actually true fears or are they limitations that can be worked up in your head.

Have faith in yourself. Courage involves trusting and believing in yourself. It is perfectly fine to be vulnerable and honest about your fears, just don't let them lead the way.

Oh and keep in mind that there is no shame in failure, it simply means that you are actually trying. Sometimes courage isn't loud, sometimes it’s that quiet voice at the end of the day that says, “Try again tomorrow.”

Have courage, be brave.


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