The Courage to Change..

The Courage to Change …  11 Ways to Shift out of Fear

It’s not that you can’t do it, you just haven’t done it yet

We’ve all experienced the inner discomfort  of feeling STUCK, stagnant, immobilized, unhappy, anxious, fearful that we’ll be stuck living this way forever.  Feelings, thoughts, memories may immobilize you, rob you of the courage it takes to make the changes you need to make.  You know it’s not working anymore, leaving you angry and sad.  Oh.. and did I mention “afraid”?

Developing the courage to change what is familiar is hard to do alone.  We are weakened by the time spent feeling stuck.  We are afraid of the unknown.  We feel alone. We get lost in regret. When stuck, our minds easily become consumed by regrets and our choices limited by inner statements that begin with “But I have to… ” and “I should… ” or “shouldn’t have done…”  The language of change begins with, “And I could…  ” and “Or I might… “.

As Ghandi reminded us, “Become the change you want to see.” When stuck, it’s easy to forget that we are the change agent and that all change, slowly but surely, begins within us.

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  • Get to know your fears, with self-compassion.  Be curious and look deeply … what makes you hesitate to be direct, take risks, step into decisions, try something out, trust yourself, believe that you are worth it?
  • Prepare for change.  What do you want that you don’t have…  or what do you have that you don’t want?  Ask, what will I gain or lose if I make this change… or that change… or none at all? What qualities or resources do I have that will help me?  What do I need to learn? Who can help me do this?
  • Become a witness to the courage of others: look for the masters of courage and study their ways. This can save you years by learning from others who have walked the path.
  • Accept that the emotion of fear is simply a feeling, not a command to withdraw or a reality that is certain doom.   As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing that scares you every day.” Practice.
  • Be truthful with yourself. Accept with kindness your current human struggles, strengths and resources. Notice  where you need help. Be willing to work persistently to gain the strength and courage to move through them, and don’t insist on doing it alone.
  • Move toward what you fear, but not alone.  Ask for help.  The emotion of fear is inborn and cannot be eliminated, but it can be changed in form from apprehension to courage. It is in the midst of fear that the roots of courage are developed. This is where the work of therapy comes in.As Susan Jeffers wrote, in Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, Dynamic techniques for turning Fear, Indecision and Anger into Power, Action and Love, “Remember that underlying all our fears is a lack of trust in ourselves.”
  • Bring the situation into the present…  Anxiety is always about the future, what will happen if…  ?”  Instead ask, What can I do about this, right now?” If there is something , however small, do it.  If not, let it be for now.


You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.      ~Eleanor Roosevelt


  • Surrender the outcome.  Outcomes are beyond your control.  If you have the courage to act, you’ve succeeded. Period.  You are not in charge of results.
  • Redefine your “failures” as making effort, and as “practice.”  Taking action, regardless of outcome, is far more courageous than mediocrity. It is a badge of courage to be willing to fail and take action anyway.
  • Know and develop your spiritual courage. Develop a deeper understanding of yourself as a person with value and purpose. Consider the remarkable examples of courage found in the lives of those with enduring faith.

afraid-set-you-free-copy-copyCourage is having the strength to walk forward through uncertainty, willing to face into difficulties with hope but not yet certainty. Courage includes the willingness to look something in the eye, and say, “I will learn to do what it takes, and grow stronger in the process.”  Wouldn’t that change a lot of things?

Blessings on your journey…


And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.    ~Anais Nin