What is Courage

In The Life Enhancement Project, we have been discussing courage, both big and small moments, and what it means. The Project is all of us in one place, addressing your individual mental, physical, and emotional needs. It was born from the COVID19 Crisis, in an attempt to address:

  1. Loss of job/income
  2. Gyms being closed
  3. Loss of social connection as we “socially isolate”
  4. Degradation of our health as we stay in more, and move less.

The Life Enhancement Project undertakes to:

1) Be affordable, less than gym membership, in fact it’s free for active IntoYou members (training regularly at least 1x fortnight)
2) Keep you in an exercise habit – vital for a healthy immune, disease prevention, mental health and resilience
3) Connect socially, safely
4) Address all aspects of your health, including self esteem, anxiety, nutrition, and MORE.
As said before, this group is absolutely free for our current members, and is an enormous value-add to your regular training with recipes, mental health training, free styling advice, support and well-being exercises, and your expected fitness programs! Furthermore, if you can’t afford our training any more you can still interact, get personalised programs and advice, and continue your journey for less than a gym membership! If you’re not a current member, you can sign up for two weeks for free here.
This project was an exercise in courage from all of us trainers at IntoYou, we had to learn some new skills and technology – literally overnight. We had to re-learn how to interact with clients through a screen, and how to keep up the quality of our movements in our clients without being able to touch them. Many of you had to learn these skills too, and the sheer volume of online offerings has been overwhelming for you. The thread of disease, lifelong dysfunction, and being cut-off from friends and family was the environment we all learned to live in; and for the sake of our kids, we also learned to home-school while putting on a brave face through our fear.
Courage is about feeling the fear, but doing it anyway.
When i was learning to live with the threat of my rare cancer returning (it was a malignant tumour), i really struggled to be brave because i had nothing to grab on to. There was no reason for me to develop this rare form of this rare tumour, and nothing i could do to stop it returning. I developed crushing anxiety from fearing the “boogiemen” which were carcinogens that were literally everywhere. They were in the additives in packaged foods, leached from plastics in to my water, belched in to the air i breathed, and so  on. I talk a little bit about this here: Daily Moments of Courage. (you may have to sign up to The Life Enhancement Project to see this, but you get 2 weeks free, so do it!)
The thing is, we are inspired daily by acts of courage; firepeople running in to burning buildings, people leaping out of areoplanes, fighting wars, our nurses on the COVID19 frontline, and so on. But so much more powerful is the tiny acts of courage that we have to drum up everyday. One of the examples in The Project was from Claire, who grew up in extreme poverty and is now fearful of an empty fridge or bare cupboards. Everyday she has to face the cupboard and face that fear, while pretending nothing is wrong. It is so much harder for her to face an empty cupboard than someone who is not afraid, and that is why true courage is always hand-in-hand with fear. Truly courageous people aren’t brave or fearless. They’re filled to the brim with fear, anxiety, uncertainty. They’re courageous because they face it head on, despite the fear.
So we encourage you to acknowledge your fears right now. Are you afraid of returning to work and public transport? Are you afraid that you’re not a good enough teacher to teach your kids at home? Or a good enough parent to avoid sending them to school? Are you afraid of losing your job? Of putting on weight? Of people seeing you without makeup?
And once you acknowledge what you’re afraid of, start LIVING anyway. If you’re afraid of wearing a swimsuit to the beach, start by wearing one around your house, or work with a friend (or us) towards not giving a flying-ass of what other people think! If these fears are getting in the way of the life you want to live, then you need to start building courage in respect to them, so in the very least they don’t stop you!
There’s a step-by-step article on building courage by life coach, Justin Miller, here. In a nutshell:
  1. Exercise it often. If you’re scared or nervous, then you are exercising courage to complete that activity. Every time you successfully navigate a situation that scares you it builds confidence.
  2. Accept anguish. Because sometimes you’ll fail, or your fears will materialise. This is okay!
  3. Courage is not invincible. Just because you learn to face your fears, doesn’t mean you’ll stop being afraid, sorry!
  4. Commit. Just to small steps, don’t overwhelm yourself, but one little pledge at a time will make a big difference to your quality of life, and the life you want to model to your children (THIS is powerful!)
  5. Look for the flashing neon sign. Or as we say, “listen to your body”. If you’re tired, rest, if you have energy, exercise. If you feel like crap, take a look at your lifestyle and make some changes! Our goal is to have each and every one of you bouncing out of bed everyday!

YES, I’m scared about falling! I’m scared of hurting myself! But first i sat on the ball, then i knelt, then i stood with my hands holding on…. then slowly, very slowly, i stood up by myself. If all you see is the end result, then you’ll never realise that you can do anything too!

We are going to finish with a quote from Rollo May in his book “The Courage to Create”:

The acorn becomes an oak by means of automatic growth; no commitment is necessary. The kitten similarly becomes a cat on the basis of instinct. Nature and being are identical in creatures like them. But a man or woman becomes fully human only by his or her choices and his or her commitment to them. People attain worth and dignity by the multitude of decisions they make from day by day. These decisions require courage.

Day by day. Each one decision. Many will require discomfort, nervousness, and courage. As the gym junkies say “life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.

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