It’s Transformational Thursday and we’re diving into being brave.
I’ll be sharing several tools and book recommendations in this episode so make sure to refer to the show notes for those references.
Being brave means to feel the fear and do it anyway. It does not mean being void of fear and I think this is an important distinction.
Fear is usually full of self-doubt and self-doubt is usually full of self-criticism so for us to practice more bravery, we first must learn how to deal with the fear that keeps us from being brave.
When I was first starting to overcome the worst of my anxiety, I came across an ancient tool called mindfulness (also known as being present to the present moment). At this point in time, I wasn’t really looking to overcome anxiety though. I was looking for a way to ease my anger.
A year earlier, a good friend had died suddenly and tragically and it completely rocked my world. I was incredibly angry with God, which would turn out to be a powerful spiritual awakening for me, but that’s another story.
In my pursuit to overcome my anger, I happened to come across a book by Thich Nhat Hanh called the Art of Power. In those pages, the techniques were simple and I was hesitant at first. When I first started to practice mindfulness, I remember it being so incredibly frustrating. My anxious mind (also known as “monkey mind”) was totally out of control. I couldn’t calm my thoughts for more than a few seconds before the worrying would creep in. Normally, I would have given up, but for some reason I stuck with it and I’m so glad I did.
Being mindful was only one piece of the puzzle though. The other piece (or one of the other pieces) was compassion.
Now, compassion sounds easy, but it can be incredibly difficult to practice with yourself. We tend to judge ourselves harshly, carry shame over the past or who we are and sometimes who we aren’t. Learning to practice compassion is an ongoing practice for me. I think it is for all of us.
The study of self-compassion led me to many other people I admire, one of them being Brené Brown who introduced me to the work of Kristen Neff.
Kristin Neff is the founder of SelfCompassion.Org where she shares tools, research, and resources for all things self-compassion. To access the self-compassion resources I mention in this episode, make sure you check out the guided meditations and self-compassion practices found on her website.
Some additional thoughts on the Self-Compassion Break I mention in this episode:
1. Don’t judge your feelings.
If you can do that and that alone, this in and of itself is practicing self-compassion. To learn more on not judging your feelings, check out Ep. 78: Giving Meaning to Unhappiness.
Don’t forget to download your free Mantras below. I’ll see you on Motivational Monday!