"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

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“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage."

Anaïs Nin, the French born author, sees one’s courage levels impacting one’s life in a big way. And what about you, how much do you let your life be governed by your levels of courage?

In order to be able to answer this question, you might want to take a step back and analyse, what being courageous means to you. How much do you actually know about your personal levels of courage? Which of those have so far helped you to enrich your life? 

If you try to look at the definition of courage, you will find countless variations. Wikipedia for example, defines courage as the “choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, shame, scandal“ etc. 

Personally I favor the definition of courage as a “choice” or a “mindset”. A choice or a mindset that enables us to look fear in the eye, to have confidence in ourselves, to believe in our abilities and to enrich our lives accordingly. To me, being courageous also means daring to move away from our comfort zone, avoiding the status quo and trying new ways to move forward. Courage also has, for me, a kind of “magic” touch - it is always right there in front of us, although it sometimes feels like it is just out of reach.

Ruth Gordon, the American actress compares courage with a muscle that we strengthen with use. You know what happens when you have been sick in bed a few days and have not been able to get up and move and walk, your muscles weaken so quickly. Remember the last time you went down with a bad dose of flu? How did you feel the first time you tried to do some sport again? No matter which definition of courage we choose, the important thing is to make it a part of our life and to try to use it on a regular basis.

Now, which courage choice or mindset do you want to adopt in order to make things happen and to move forward?

The one that would enable you to analyse the fears that, in the past, have stopped you from changing some aspects of your life, privately or professionally and have prevented you from leading a happy life? 

Or the one that stops you from pretending to be someone you aren’t and helps you to stand up for your true personality and values?

Or maybe the one that will give you the strength to speak out in order to resolve a long lasting conflict that has been preventing you from taking the next step? 

Or the one that will encourage you to make a difference by taking part, by being present and by stating your opinion?

And what about the one to opt to stay silent from time to time and to allow yourself to be enriched by listening to others?  

Take the courage to recognize the different facets of your courage, let them evolve and use them to create opportunities in life to move forward.

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