The Courage Muscle

I love Eleanor Roosevelt—her gumption, her unflagging goal to make the world a better place, her courage to survive the many adversities in her life.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

This has been one of my all-time favorite quotes. Eleanor’s words have graced every office I have worked in, have been affixed to my refrigerator door, and currently are displayed in a place of honor near my home computer. The quote has inspired me to push beyond my “edge” and to shake off my complacency. Over time, it has helped me to exercise and strengthen my own courage muscle.

Because developing courage takes practice.

No one is born courageous. We learn to grow bolder in incremental steps: learning to walk, ride a bike, drive a car, go after that job we really want, live on our own.

And somewhere along the way, particularly if we are female, we begin to forget about courage. We fall into complacency, the “shoulds” loom large, and the adventure in our lives diminishes.

But it doesn’t have to happen this way. And the good news is: it’s not too late to reawaken and build up our courage muscle.

Just like well-toned arms, our courage muscle needs to be exercised on a regular basis. Even a little practice, over time, will add to the prominence of this muscle. The rewards: a richer life, an increased sense of adventure and self-confidence, a greater willingness to try new things, and an expanded sense of curiosity—because we soon come to realize that we can do anything!


Your Call to Action:

Think back to a time when you were courageous. It may have been something acknowledged by others or your own private victory over fear. What did you believe that helped you to discount the fear and go ahead anyway? How did you feel knowing that you had accomplished what was scary? How willing are you to get that feeling back?

Your challenge for the week: do one thing every day that scares you. At the end of the week, acknowledge your achievement and courage, and notice the lessons here for you.


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