Courage. Every day we all face our individual battles great and small. Life is a series of making choices, striving for personal improvement, and pushing ourselves forward (sometimes into unknown territories). Some things can be flat out daunting and terrifying. However, there is a quote by Ruth Gordo that I find to be very inspiring and true. “Courage is Like a Muscle. We Strengthen it By Use.”
Often, we make the mistake of looking at things too broadly. We look at the long road ahead, we think of how much work we have to do, we worry about what can go wrong….. and it all serves to weigh our hearts and feet down. We tend to have harsh personal expectations, and thus feel like failures if we are not able to leap straight into difficult situations, or achieve big goals overnight. In reality, big things are usually achieved via a series of small steps and actions. Thus too, is how we build-up our courage towards achieving accomplishments, or even facing down our fears.
Every time we take a little step of effort towards something, it is achievement. It is movement. It increases our courage and confidence. With time we discover that we can take additional steps, go further, and that the things that once might have caused debilitating fear in us have been conquered.
It is important to remember to be kind to ourselves. To be encouraging, and to give ourselves time to strengthen our “courage muscles” whenever we face anything in life that is difficult. Try to talk to yourself the way you would to someone else facing the same challenge, or striving towards similar goals. Congratulate yourself for every step—however small. It is a step, it is progress, it is a boost in courage, and personal improvement (no matter what it is you are facing, or working towards). Every little step counts, and improves.