This post was written by Dr. Shawn Haywood
Let’s talk courage. You know, gusto, grit, risk, bold action and guts!
Here is a hairy, audacious question for you: Do you have the GUTS to live YOUR life EXACTLY the way YOU want?
Do you have the guts to speak your mind boldly (and kindly), regardless of fear of disappointing or losing approval or in spite of fearing conflict? Do you have the tenacity to set iron-clad boundaries, to say NO to unwanted obligations, projects or tasks when they do not serve your highest good, the highest good of your family or because you just plain don’t wanna? Do you have the courage to live YOUR life on YOUR terms, with YOUR deliberately crafted definitions of success, love, being, feeling, connecting and working, regardless of what others do, think, judge or say?
Or might you need to grow your guts a bit!?
Wouldn’t it be awesome if, at a moment’s notice, we could call for takeout, and order a very large slice of courageto take a big scary risk; a side of gutsto speak our mind, no holds barred and a tall glass of tenacityto rock our own socks off in life, love, adventure…and…?
I’m not trying to imply that you don’t already have guts, courage or tenacity; no doubt you do. But, I am talking about next, next, next level courage. The type of courage that defines you and separates you from the pack.
I’m inviting you to live your BIGGEST, brightest, most courageous life. Why? Because you can, because you deserve it and because life really is short.
Living your life to the absolute fullest includes not only the guts to take risks and go big but also the courage to do the work to heal old wounds, to insist on being completely authentic no matter if or when others are looking, to learn to listen intently to your heart, to act on your heart’s beautiful inner guidance and to uncover and remove the limiting beliefs that hold you back from your best life and emotional wellness.
Guts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but “next level” courage is a defining factor in people who are (or want to be) profoundly rooted in the top layer of success and joy.
So, what kind of GUTS does it take to live the life of your dreams? Here are a few ideas to mull. Each of these requires courage but when acted upon also has the dazzling effect of improving your life exponentially!
Liberated Lesson #1: Heal old wounds - Diving into the process of healing old or current wounds is not for the faint of heart. Healing definitely requires a lot of courage…but only at the start. It becomes easy in a flash!
There are numerous ways to go about healing in order to be increasingly clear headed and clear hearted, which allows you to have deeper connections, as well as more meaningful work, flowing creative expression, inner peace and freedom.
To heal old or even current hurts, you can hire a coach or a coach trained therapist; email me for a list of rock star books to help kick off your healing journey; take a class; take one of our programs. Basically, GRAB the courage to do whatever it takes for you to remove old baggage, clear out emotional clutter and move forward powerfully! The price of continuing to carry it is just too high.
Liberated Lesson #2: Commit to being completely authentic- I love this idea of authenticity, and boy oh boy does it require guts and tenacity. Just think of how easy it is to sell ourselves out to please, to not disappoint or to gain the approval of someone from whom we really want it. Ugh!
Then, how stinking challenging is it to stay our own course? To honor ourselves or family by staying true to our values. To tell a boss, NO, I will not work late, I have a standing date with my family that begins at 5:54 sharp…EVERY day. Or to keep commitments to ourselves for that matter?
For far too many years of my life, I literally had no idea what authenticity meant or how to practice it. I was so busy selling myself out! Practicing things like pleasing, avoiding conflict, doing what I thought would make others happy and caretaking, all while feeling pretty darn resentful because of these habits and choices!
At its core, being authentic or living authentically means honoring yourself first and foremost, no matter what the hell others think, do or say.
Self honor requires strength, and it is NOT the same as petty selfishness. Selfishness is rooted in pridefulness, sass, arrogance, perfectionism, pleasing--even meanness--and so on. Self-honor, on the other hand, is rooted in depth, love, compassion, connection, true service, open-hearted living, vulnerability, acceptance and surrender. The practice of consistent self honor grows into abundance in every category. And it allows for everyone to be honored simultaneously, even if others don’t necessarily always like your choices.
Liberated Lesson #3: Listen to your heart and act on it - The heart possesses a special form of inner guidance, which requires courage to access. Not courage in the traditional sense, perhaps, like fighting a bull, but the courage to say NO to extraneous time stealers and time wasters and to say YES to taking the time to be still and sit quietly to hear our heart. This allows our mind to learn to become silent. Or, we can at least practice allowing thoughts to simply float by without grabbing one certain one and chasing it down a rabbit hole.
You can call this inner heart guidance anything that pleases you, as long as you call on it! Intuition, inner knowing, inner guidance, heart calling or whatever you like, it just matters that you make time and space to call - the line is always open.
The heart ALWAYS knows what is the most self honoring choice, path or decision. But, if we never practice being still enough to hear its guidance, or warnings, then we cannot practice connecting with it and utilizing this precious gift.
So, do yourself a HUGE favor and begin sitting still and listening to your heart! Even if you sit still for only five minutes each day, learning to let thoughts float by without grabbing and running, you will see results over time. You will hear your heart. And you will be able to take more profound action in your life as a result.
Take Liberated Action!
Let’s now take the Liberated Lessons from above, wrap them in courage, guts, gusto and tenacity, and take the necessary actions to craft and live life that is more and more on YOUR terms!
1. Heal Old Wounds:What is one significant action you are willing to take, in an effort to heal old heart wounds, even if it just a piece of an old wound, a negative emotion or a situation that is not good for you, is destructive or is otherwise self-dishonoring? What will healing this piece do for you? How will growing the guts to take this action allow you to live life MORE on your terms?
2. Commit to Being Completely Authentic:What will the iron-clad decision to BE YOUR authentic self mean for your ability to live life exactly the way you want?
Now, determine the actions you need to take to practice authenticity. Do you need to say NO to activities, people, opportunities or even thoughts that promote busyness, anxiety, frustration, fear, anger, pleasing or calamity? Do you need to practice saying YES to only that which is deeply valuable, fulfilling, value aligned, fun or profitable to you (body, mind, spirit), to your business or to your personal relationships?
Name just one obligation that you can courageously remove from your life so that you will be honored, feel calmer, get to slow down a little or even have the time to just sit and be.
3. Listen to Your Heart and Act on It: What time of the day can you commit to spending just five minutes, or even one minute, being still and listening to your heart? Do you have the guts to value yourself enough to make this idea a practice in your life?
What clues can you look for to know your heart is calling so you can be encouraged to listen, hear and heed its advice or warning? The heart is magic, and it will guide you in profound ways, so keep your heart open.
Doing so takes real courage to take soul ownership of your life, to take responsibility for YOUR experiences, results, arguments, upsets and negative emotions, and especially to take the needed action to CHANGE your life in order to live your best life and to live life on your terms.
Life liberation is not for the faint of heart! It