Why play small when you can play big?
There are a million paths you can take in life.
It doesn’t matter which one you choose. Because it’s not the path you choose that makes the difference — it’s the way you travel it.
Living a life of courage is not about signing up for extreme sports, scaling the world’s toughest mountains or slashing through dense and scary jungles.
It’s about taking what you’ve got and making the most of it. It’s about getting to the end of your life with a smile on your face, knowing you got the best value from your ticket.
People often present at therapy saying they want to deal with their anxiety. Fair call. But, often, a better approach is to help them tap the courage to do whatever they’re afraid of doing, to make bolder choices.
True, life doesn’t make it easy…
There are many reasons why we don’t end up achieving our dreams: Life’s twists and turns, external forces, circumstances, the people (and distractions) we meet along the way.
That’s okay; many of those are beyond our control. And the dreams we once had may not be suited to the person we become.
Whatever path you take, the job is to shore up your internal resources — your approach, attitude and courage — and have them help you play the biggest game you have in you.If you want to live with courage, here are the steps to take.
To Live a Life of Courage, Do These 6 Things
When you deliberately choose to play in the big arena, you set yourself up for a more expansive life. It means every time you face a challenge or test, you already know you’re going to play big. It’s just a matter of deciding how.
Leaving a miserable relationship (or finding your voice within it), asking the boss for a raise, asking someone on a date, making a wedding speech, leaving a safe 9–5 gig, starting a new business or project.
When you cower away from your fears, or live in denial of them, they’ll become bigger in your mind. So identify them. Say them out loud. Write them down. In acknowledging your fears, and squaring up to them, you’ll take the sting out of them. And you’ll know precisely what you have to work on.
But don’t intentionally “go low” — don’t try to bring others down, don’t insult others, don’t play tit-for-tat when they criticise you. Try not to do things you know you will regret, especially if they involve hurting others. When you do, atone for them or apologise — as quickly as you can.
No matter what comes at you, try to walk the high road.
Strive to be the kind of person you’d want to watch, and copy. You don’t have to be perfect but think about what you’re modelling and try to offer the best you’ve got — not the worst.
Clinical psychologist, writer. Editor of On the Couch: Top writer in Inspiration, Love, Self Improvement, Mental Health, Psychology, Relationships, Life, Life Lessons, Entrepreneurship
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