Word on the street is that I’ve got Big Cahonas! I declared that I was making a big move across the country, and I did it! So I’ve been getting a lot of folks telling me how bold or brave I am, however anyone can cultivate courage within themselves. Besides, as a woman of leadership I have to walk my talk. Heck, not only are people looking towards me to lead by example; I have to hold myself accountable to my own dreams and desires as well !
Often people wonder how I have the guts to put my finger in the air and say, “Screw the status quo!” You see this daring side of me wasn’t always there, and it took some time to emerge. It was not until I made a conscious decision to make my desires a top priority, was I able to manifest my dreams.
With that being said I’d like to share with you 7 strategies I’ve used to help me find the courage to walk my talk. So whether you need the courage to make radical shifts like leaving that unsatisfying job, starting that passion project or business, or even relocating to another city, these strategies will surly have you singing, “I talk like this cause I could back it up!”
1. Know Thyself !
The most important gem to walking your talk is self-awareness. Self-awareness is the first step in creating what you want and mastering self-discipline. Where you focus your attention, emotions, reactions, personality, and behavior determines where you go in life. That’s why it’s necessary that you have a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivations, and emotions. Until you are aware in the moment of the controls to your thoughts and behavior you will have difficulty making changes in the direction of your life.
What may help you to gain more self-awareness and perspective is self reflection and journaling. I never believed in the power of journaling until I started putting pen to paper. It helped me clarify & analyze my thoughts and give me the insight into my beliefs, behavior, and has helped me to process my emotions. Above all, ‘knowing thyself’ helps you to be vigilant in the moment when you’re out of alignment with what you say you want, so that you can make adjustments to hold true to your desires.
2. Invest In Your Personal Growth.
It cannot be stressed enough that the biggest investment you can make is in yourself. Up until four years ago I would have never dropped a dime on personal growth, besides checking out the occasional self-help book from the library here or there. The books had a boatload of wisdom and gave me an empowering feel-good vibe, however that was often short-lived and that wasn’t enough to transform me at my core. Eventually I gave in and invested in the support I needed.
As of today I have no hang-ups about putting time, energy, or funds towards my personal development because it has helped me to transcend my old limiting mindset and fears, so that I’m able to believe in myself and the ability to achieve my dreams. So whether it is to get guidance from a mentor, coach, counselor, or mastermind group, get support somewhere, you’ll be glad you did.
3. Eliminate distractions and negative influences.
This point should be a no brainer, but on the journey to living courageously you’re going to have to outgrow your lifestyle and some of the people around you. This in-turn will be a hard pill for the people around you to swallow, and may have them projecting their own inner judgments onto you. However, walking your talk is going to require that you not take anything personally, and to lay down some boundaries and standards for yourself and others.
That may mean releasing certain things out of your life like negative people, eliminating the gossip, comparisons, self-avoidance tactics (trash TV, social media, junk food, etc.) When I was on the verge of taking major leaps, I got radical with it by cutting my cable off, respectfully releasing people out my life, and dropping disempowering habits. Overall, any external influence that is a liability to your growth and progress in life has to go!
Walking your talk takes a lot of emotional energy so you want to be as light as possible, which means letting go of the past, forgiving others, and most importantly yourself. Just think about it, when you’re stuck in the past full of regret and resentments it’s hard to take courageous steps into the future. As you know forgiveness is key, but I’m not saying it’s easy, nor will it be overnight.
To be honest, it took me sometime to let go and make peace with my past. In order to forgive, I had to see the people who I harbored bitter feelings towards as teachers, and my experiences as lessons. Reframing the situation in an empowering way allowed me to transform my challenges into acts of grace, and in turn melting away the burdens of my past.
5. Practice daily acts of courage.
Courage is a muscle that must be exercised on a daily basis. It all starts with the incremental acts of courage that will allow you stretch yourself to be able to take bigger leaps in life. Daily acts of courage may consist of standing up and speaking your truth when you’re used to shying away, taking action on something that you’ve been procrastinating on, or to persevere through failures and setbacks when you would’ve given up before.
Overall, there are endless possibilities as to what steps to take, but the main objective is to break the cycle of your conditioned behavior. When I began disrupt my record of thoughts I was able to do things that I would’ve never done before like public speaking, taking solo vacations, and not to mention relocating to a city where I barely knew anyone. That takes guts my friends, and it’s stretching myself daily is what got me there.
6. Build your Dream Team.
It takes teamwork, to make the dream work! When you’re gearing up for big changes, you’re going to need all the moral and emotional support you can get. Let’s be clear, courage is not the absence of fear; it’s pressing forward when you feel afraid. As you take courageous steps in life you’re usually at your most vulnerable state, and need to lean on others. This doesn’t require a mass of people, all you need is 1 or 2 people that are genuinely trustworthy, encouraging, who are the same or similar path as you, and who will hold you accountable to your dreams. Personally, I stand on the shoulders of the some the strongest people I know, and that’s what gets me through the tough times, and gives me the ability to walk in the face of challenges.
7. Make Self Care & Spiritual Practices apart of your life.
Walking your talk is going to call for you to be grounded and calm in the midst of chaos, which is going to require that you pour into yourself daily. Real talk, you’re most likely not going to move forward courageously in life if you’re stressed out or unhealthy; that’s where self-care comes in. In addition, you’ll not have faith to go forward if you don’t believe in yourself and that there’s a higher force (Universe, God, Spirit, etc) guiding you; that’s where spiritual practice comes in. Both of these practices go hand in hand.
Self-care practices is as simple as getting sufficient sleep, maintaining proper nutrition, moving your body through exercise, spending time by yourself, pampering yourself with massages or spa days to feel nurtured. When you feel good about yourself and in your body, you’ll have the required energy to push forward.
On the other hand, spiritual practice may consist of prayer, meditation, reflection, fellowship, etc. By the way, I’m not referring to any particular religion, denomination, or lack there of; it’s about positioning yourself in the right state of mind to courageously step forward. For this reason, spiritual practice is important because it helps you to grow in clarity and wisdom, keeps you calmly grounded, strengthens the faith in yourself and the source of your power. Therefore, you won’t be easily thrown off your game, and if you do you’ll be able to bounce back quickly. Personally, before I jump out of bed every morning I start my day with some form of spiritual practice whether it be prayer, reflection, or meditation; this allows me to set my intention and positions me to be grounded for the day.
These 7 tips must be practiced on an ongoing basis in order to achieve courageous transformation in your life. It would be great to hear how these strategies work out for you. Shoot me an email letting me know how it turns out, or if you have any questions I’m always here to support you as well.
To Walking Your Talk,
Now, I’d love to here from you! What’s holding you back from ‘Walking your Talk’? Which strategy are you willing to incorporate into your life today? What is your take away or insight from today’s post?
Express your thoughts, and join the conversation in the comments below. Share this post if you found it thought provoking, or if you know a friend who can benefit from this message today.
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Image via Huffington Post