The old mantra on shampoo bottles: lather, rinse, repeat. Psychological research finds that the more things are repeated, the better we get the message. And because of the way our minds work, what becomes more familiar (as a result of hearing it more often), the more likely we are to think things are true.
What if calling up your courage was like that? You act courageously, you reflect upon it, and then you go out and act courageously again. Doesn’t have to be headline making – maybe you speak up in someone’s defense, maybe you ask for a promotion or a raise, maybe you step back to give someone else the spotlight. That’s courage, baby! And the more you act courageously, the more you will feel courageous.
So the next time you have a couple of minutes to spare, think about some of the ways you may have done courageous things recently. Then REPEAT!
So what does courage look like? I think it looks like Elizabeth Edwards. Doesn’t matter what your political leaning is, Elizabeth exemplifies women’s courage. She endured the death of a child, the snow globe life of politics, the infidelity of her husband, and a public battle with cancer.
My words pale compared to hers. “The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered,” she wrote in a note posted Monday on Facebook, after doctors told her she had at best weeks to live. “We know that. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.”
Her message makes me pause, count my blessings and say a prayer.