The Courage to Continue

The Courage to Continue
by Jessica Edwards

“Success isn’t final. Failure isn’t final. It’s the courage to continue that counts.”

Keep on keepin’ on. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. We have multiple phrases for making forward progress. For taking action, moving ahead.

But what most phrases lack is the boiled down essence of all your will, drive and motivation… courage.

Digging deep and finding the courage to continue builds character and gives shape to your life. To pick yourself back up, put yourself out there, keep being vulnerable in service of your desires and dreams is the single greatest form of bravery.

Courage is like a muscle. The first few times you rely on it, it feels uncomfortable, foreign and maybe even painful. But you start to gain strength through repetition.

As your courage grows, you take bigger, bolder actions. You make incremental progress toward your goals. You start to feel strong and alive. You move boldly and bravely into the direction of your dreams.

For me, leaving corporate America to commit to my full-time coaching business was a bold, brave action in building a larger life for myself. It’s certainly not a path of least resistance, but acts of bravery seldom are.

I’m continuously mustering up courage over the fear and doubt as I work on building a life that resonates with purpose and meaning. A life where I get to help others show up courageously in their lives, over and over again.

As you go about your day today, ask yourself, how am I being brave? And if the answer isn’t obvious, think about what you can do to give courage a workout?

3 Ways to Beat Resistance

We all know the saying. What you resist, persists.

Resistance is a force within each of us that beguiles us into remaining small. It keeps us stuck in patterns that block us from thriving and living large. It persists when we accept it as normal versus choosing to push past it. Getting stuck in our narrative of smallness.

We can overcome resistance. It starts by recognizing how resistance persists for you, making a different choice and taking action against it.

Recognize your story

Our stories run us. An easy way to recognize them is to examine your most frequent thoughts. What is constantly cycling through your mind?

“I’m not ____ enough, I’m too busy, I have to be productive, I have to prove myself, I’m too tired, I’ll start tomorrow.”

This is how your resistance is showing up. These thoughts are keeping you blocked from peace, success, love, etc.

Ask yourself why? Why do I feel I have to be productive? Is it because it satisfies my need for control? Is it cause if I’m not productive, I’ll be outed as not being smart enough for this job?

Keep asking why till you get to the bottom of the thought and expose your fear based story.

Recognizing your resistance narrative presents you with an opportunity to choose again.

Realize you are making a choice

Our repetitive thoughts literally become entrenched neuropathways in our brains. When we let these stories of resistance run us, they become our mental default.

Are you choosing to stay safe in your comfort zone, even if you’re miserable and unfulfilled, over the vulnerability of personal growth and betterment? Are you choosing to stay in your ho-hum relationship or career because you don’t believe you are worthy of more?

Once you’ve identified your resistance story, you have a choice to change it. Practice choosing a new thought when the old one shows up, over and over again, to actively carve new pathways in your brain.

If you catch yourself thinking, “I’m not really happy in this job, but it’s a paycheck.” Reframe your story and choose again. “I’m worthy of having a meaningful career, and each day I have the opportunity to learn more about what this looks like for me.”

Take Action… Now

Resistance thrives in procrastination. We don’t tell ourselves, I’m never going to get a promotion, we say I’ll ask for the promotion tomorrow/when my boss is in a good mood/when the time is right.

Resistance hates action. Action sets wheels in motion. Action takes a stand against our smallness, our resistance.

If you want to take a stand against resistance find a way, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, to take action. Not tomorrow, today. Right now, and every day going forward.

Make a choice to move closer to your goal and dreams Every. Single. Day.

Choosing to take action paves the pathway to your new story. One where you are larger than your resistance.

Simply put, resistance = fear. Fear of the consequences of following your heart, becoming who you truly are. Make a conscious choice to change your story and live your purpose. The world needs your large, authentic, purposeful self.

————
Jessica Edwards, a ZYG regular, is a life coach who specializes in helping millennial women align all of who they are with the work they want to be doing in the world so they can begin living large… on purpose. You can find her, or sign up for a complimentary coaching session, at www.jessicaedwardscoaching.com or on Facebook and Instagram @jessicaedwardscoaching.
Advertisements

Feel Your Feelings

Feel Your Feelings
by Jessica Cardinale

Awoke with a deep ache in my heart, but fuzzy like that something missing had been stuffed full of cotton balls. The sky was blue, the leaves bursting with fiery reds & oranges, seasoned with saffron yellow. (The goddamned birds are chirping!)

“Nope, don’t want to do it.”

I wrestled with the idea of just staying in bed until work this evening. Realizing how much more upset I’d be with that choice, I put on LCD Soundsystem, cleaned the house, then cried. I made myself a smoothie, sat down, and then I cried.   The shuddering, red-faced, snot dripping kind of cry, one leg flung up on the dining room chair and a good chunk of hair in my right hand.

I love riding my bike & I love practicing yoga, both things I’d been neglecting for a few days. Exercise and sunlight. Endorphins and Vitamin D! (It really is a lovely ride.) Of course I picked up some glass or some screw or nail, and after tearing through my bag for an outrageous two minutes, looking for the spare tube that I knew I’d forgotten to pack, I started to laugh. I smiled walking the rest of the way to class, and you know what…I met new people. We opened the heart chakra. We moved from Camatkarasana (wild thing) into Chakrasana (wheel pose), and it was fun. I stopped into Randy’s Recycled Cycles to grab a tube, subsequently meeting my new bike mechanic, Matthew.

I guess my point is that allowing myself to feel the sadness, not move away from it, resulted in a more comfortable state. Thinking back on times when I have ignored my emotions or numbed them, I can see now that my emotional development was stunted. Feeling the temporary discomfort, maybe crying like hell, and getting back up is the only way to evolve. It’s a new month so try something you’ve never done before, right? From subtle to extreme, when we live with volition, we become better humans.

 

Jessica Cardinale

On the Gift of Not Knowing

On the Gift of Not Knowing
by Tracy Bleier

The other night I was doing the dishes and my youngest son came into the kitchen bouncing a ball. Without looking up he asked me, “how long are our lives?” My impulse was to say, “a very long time.” Instead, I said, “Nobody really knows how long their lives are.”

He continued ball bouncing and seemed un-phased.

I tried to imagine from his perspective what “not knowing” feels like.

We wake up every day not knowing so much. Not knowing the big things like whether we will be alive tomorrow, or lose our jobs or our spouses or God forbid our children. Every day we learn about an unexpected loss or shift in a person’s life.   We don’t know what life will bring no matter how much we plan and organize ourselves around what we think we want. Our expectations of what we think will happen so often fall short of the reality of what does actually happen.

It’s no wonder we savor and cling to our practices: to have something that provides us with tools to feel safe amidst a world that can be so uncertain.

What can we know?

We can know our bodies. We can know that our feet are touching the ground. We can know our senses. We can know when we are present. We can know when we need support or guidance or a hug or space. We can know how to ask for what we need. And we can know how to listen better.

No matter our preferences of poses or places or people and no matter our differences, we are bound by the mysteries of the lives we share. Remembering that, wouldn’t it be wondrous if the one thing we could know is that we could depend upon each others’ kindness at all times and in every time?