What I'd love to do — in this post — is share some ways to help you feel courageous. Because, my people, we have big and important work to do in this life — and we need all the courage we can get to be awesome and make the world better!
1. Remember that you have a voice and you can use your voice to speak up. When your friend asks if you’re okay, instead of saying you’re fine and acting like all is smooth sailing, be willing to say that you’re not okay. You’re not fine. Don’t be a victim — no blame is necessary, but speak your truth. No more stuffing. No more hiding. No more candy-coating. No more choosing to be nice over being authentic. No more accommodating. This might mean that the conversation will be uncomfortable. That’s okay. Be kind. Be true. Be real. Be YOU. Every conversation matters.
2. Remember that you can always do something to make the world a better and kinder place — even if you are bogged down by life and feeling insignificant. Make eye contact with someone. Say hello. Give a nod. Invite a person to join your lunch table who might otherwise be sitting alone. Dare to be different. Cheer on your classmates as they present a project or when they raise their hand and answer a question that no one else is willing to tackle. Acknowledge the “weird” kid/friend and appreciate the color that they add to your world. FYI: The things that make you weird as a kid make you great as an adult. Be weird. Be courageous. Take a stand. It matters.
3. Remember that your health is a gift. Take care of your physical body. Hydrate. Sleep. Fuel yourself with food that makes you feel healthy and strong. Move. The body doesn’t lie. If you’re struggling with being sick and/or run down, instead of solely throwing medication or numbing agents at it, and masking it, dig deeper. What is creating the dis-ease? From where is the unease coming? Is stress playing a part? What thoughts/beliefs are you marinating in? Could your food choices be better? Is your phone use at night impeding your ability to get restorative sleep? Are you burning the candle on both ends and expecting that your body can sustain? Slow down enough to ask the questions. Inquire. Check in. Figure out what you can do to take better care of yourself. Pivot where needed. Honor your body. Honor you. It matters.
4. Take care of your inner world. Check the quality of your thoughts. Think brain food. Are the sentences in your brain uplifting and motivating, or are they demeaning and harsh? You get to choose the words and beliefs on which you subsist, don’t let them choose you. If your thoughts/beliefs create how you feel, and these feelings generate certain actions/behaviors on your part that ultimately get the results in your life, don’t you want to have motivating, helpful, useful, and empowering thoughts on the menu? Cultivate your light and hope muscle. Atrophy your self-sabotaging and diminishing muscle. It matters.
5. Remember that when you find the courage to be vulnerable — you step outside your comfort zone and expose your heart, your humanness - this act alone can help others be vulnerable who might not otherwise be, and this courage to be vulnerable can open people’s eyes. It can change someone's mind. Your vulnerability can help someone to see the world in a softer and kinder light. How beautiful is that? This courage to be seen and known helps others to be seen and known. It’s a win-win. It matters.
6. Remember that there are people in the world who love you and care about you and celebrate you — in all of your messy and fabulous glory. If you feel really wobbly right now, remember that, "You are strong. You are loved. You are love. You are beautiful. You are human. You are complex. You are awesome. You are going to be okay.” You matter.
You! The one that is showing up and walking hand-in-hand with courage and fear. Yes, you! You are courage personified. And you are growing stronger every day. Don't stop. Keep going. Light the way for you and others. You got this. Xoxox