One of the key themes of Life Adventure Coaching is that each of us has inside us a wonderful reservoir of traits that can make our life both easier and more rewarding. Learning to tap into this natural reservoir one of the many ways I help my clients. This month’s Life Adventure Notes is focused on helping you tap into your inner sources of strength and courage.I first became aware of my own strength and courage when I fought a hard battle with cancer. The type of cancer I had was very deadly and very aggressive and so my treatment was very aggressive as well. Life quickly narrowed down to a focus on right now and how to continue to exist. I discovered I had a deep strength I didn’t even know about and I never doubted that there would be an end to being sick. Several times when the going was especially rough, I discovered courage that kept me fighting to live.
What I have since learned is that each of us has similar resources. They are not always called into action in such dramatic ways, but they are there. In the decades of helping people since my illness, I have not found anyone without this central core of strength. What does happen though is that events, people and circumstances can bury your strength deep inside you until it feels like it does not exist. At times and for some people, the digging necessary to uncover your inner strength requires an act of courage. Fortunately, that courage is a flame that can be ignited from outside sources.
Read on to get the details of how to reignite your own core strength and courage. And if you find your own strength buried so deeply you cannot find it, be sure to use a coach or counselor to find the courage to dig it out.
Lessons in Strength and Courage
Strength and courage are important qualities to a life of adventure and they are often intertwined. Personal strength resides somewhere within each of us. It is our core, our framework of who we are as a person. Strength is the white hot glow that moves us forward no matter what. Courage is that passion that ignites the glow into a burst of flame for a shorter period of time.
As a counselor and a coach, I see strength in action every day. What I have come to realize is that each of us has a vast reservoir of strength within us. Your strength may show up in quiet ways or be more obvious to others than it is to you. People who go through life without accessing their strength seem to be drifting without purpose. You may be in this category if you haven’t found specific goals and focus. Developing your sense of purpose and intention will provide a ready connection to your personal strength.
Strength is the quality you use when you take all those classes to get your degree while you are also working. It is the trait that gets you to go to work every day in a job that doesn’t suit you because there are bills to be paid. It is the reason that you walk every day even when it rains. There are as many ways that strength plays out in our lives as there are people. Most of them are quiet and may not be recognized for what they are.
Yet some people seem to be stuck in one spot and not able to change their lives. They drift and cannot access their strength. They just can’t seem to get anything started. It does seem there is a minimum threshold of strength that needs to be met; just getting going from inaction can be all that it takes to make life different. Once momentum starts, it is much easier to keep going. The path looks longer and harder when you are not moving. Once in motion, strength tends to build on itself and make the going easier.
Often the goal is the key to getting started. Get very get clear about the goal, the vision or the dream of how you want things. Make that outcome as real to you as you can. Once you have that, you have the reason to start the action going. Without an endpoint, the journey rarely seems worth the strength involved.
You may be already in action, but not recognizing your own use of strength because you down-play it. Do you say, “I’m just doing what needs to be done….”? If you complete that sentence, you may see the situation more clearly and realize how strong you are. The sentence you are saying is really “I’m just doing what needs to be done – to get where I want to be”. When you finish the thought, it is more obvious that your action is based on choice and a display of your personal strength.
Courage is another matter entirely. Courage comes when times are tough and the call to action is large. That white hot core of strength is transformed to a burning flame of courage. Courage happens in the moment when you rise to meet the challenge – whatever it is that you are facing. The call to courageousness is often sparked from outside of ourselves. It may be standing up for yourself or for a loved one, facing a health crisis, starting a business or even ending a relationship. All require you to become a courageous person who is taking action despite whatever danger there may be in the challenge of the moment.
Courage is the burst of action and energy; strength is the long term sustainable trait that helps us day to day. Neither is complete without the other – taken together, strength and courage go a long way towards creating a life that is deep and rich and rewarding.
In what ways is your internal strength showing up in your everyday life?
How can you clarify your goals in order to better access your strength and keep moving?
How are you acknowledging the strength you are using?
What situations may be calling forth your courage?
The Way from A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass
~ by Amy Lowell
At first a mere thread of a footpath half blotted out by the grasses
Sweeping triumphant across it, it wound between hedges of roses
Whose blossoms were poised above leaves as pond lilies float on the water,
While hidden by bloom in a hawthorn a bird filled the morning with singing.
It widened a highway, majestic, stretching ever to distant horizons,
Where shadows of tree-branches wavered, vague outlines invaded by sunshine;
No sound but the wind as it whispered the secrets of earth to the flowers,
And the hum of the yellow bees, honey-laden and dusty with pollen.
And Summer said, “Come, follow onward, with no thought save the longing to wander,
The wind, and the bees, and the flowers, all singing the great song of Nature,
Are minstrels of change and of promise, they herald the joy of the Future.”
Later the solitude vanished, confused and distracted the road
Where many were seeking and jostling. Left behind were the trees and the flowers,
The half-realized beauty of quiet, the sacred unconscious communing.
And now he is come to a river, a line of gray, sullen water,
Not blue and splashing, but dark, rolling somberly on to the ocean.
But on the far side is a city whose windows flame gold in the sunset.
It lies fair and shining before him, a gem set betwixt sky and water,
And spanning the river a bridge, frail promise to longing desire,
Flung by man in his infinite courage, across the stern force of the water;
And he looks at the river and fears, the bridge is so slight, yet he ventures
His life to its fragile keeping, if it fails the waves will engulf him.
O Arches! be strong to uphold him, and bear him across to the city,
The beautiful city whose spires still glow with the fires of sunset!
INDIVIDUAL COACHING BY PHONE
Want to stop that feeling that life is passing you by?
Would you like to able to experience your life as an exciting series of adventures?
Would you like to feel more joy and achieve more success?
That is what I help my clients develop in their own lives. Working with a coach helps you overcome the challenges that can keep you from a successful life. Coaching gives you a companion on the journey; someone with whom to discuss events as they unfold and to help you move toward joy in the adventure. Developing clear goals, focusing intently and staying committed become possible.
If you aren’t sure and would like to explore whether coaching is right for you, please send an email to Janet@lifeadventurecoaching.com or call me at 828-691-4655 for a complimentary consultation.