Find courage to be yourself

Posted October 4, 2016

Whether you need to accomplish a hard task, hold a difficult conversation or face an intimidating situation, you can tap into the courage already within reach.

1. Sit with your soul. Get to the root of the actual worry or fear that keeps you from moving forward. Allow yourself to acknowledge and feel through it. As busy people, we don’t typically take enough time to simply be still and assimilate all that comes at us, as well as process what simmers within us.

Author Gary Zukav shares from "The Seat of the Soul," “When the energy of the soul is recognized, acknowledged, and valued, it begins to infuse the life of the personality.” When we respect our soul enough to be still, we receive insights that we couldn’t access before.

2. Choose a success step. When undertaking a difficult or important experience, do one thing to bring out your bold side — the part that says, I got this. For example, wear a killer outfit. It could be the old adage of a power suit or it could be a power set of yoga pants. A go-to hairstyle, shirt or shoes, something small that makes you feel confident and on it. Without this, you may spend your time worrying about small details instead of the big picture.

In "Simple Abundance," author Sarah Ban Breathnach shares about going to an important meeting regarding her book. However, on the way there her new outfit felt too tight, the overheated subway resulted in armpit sweat stains, and her special manicure looked garish in the bright light. All of it made her feel self-conscious and stressed, and unable to be her best self. Instead, choose what makes you shine then forget about yourself and get it done.

3. Use your voice. Whether for business or a relationship, if having a tough conversation makes you balk, try using a simple, workable phrase that helps you speak up. Opening phrases like, “I’m wondering if,” “I appreciate what you’ve shared, I’d like to talk more about …” or “If possible, I’d like to revisit. …” Combining these with a tone of “kind candor” makes it possible to share difficult feelings with respect and clarity.

We can even use our voice in any situation that feels instinctively right, regardless of concern for possible offense or outcome. The other day I saw a video clip from a tennis match that inspired me to share it with my children. The integrity shown by the player — who didn’t have to — was a powerful example of doing the right thing no matter the situation.

4. Lighten up. Too often fear comes from an intense self-focus and inability to accept our weaknesses or mistakes. Lighten up! Accept that you’re human, then learn from it and love it. The other day after getting gas I drove away only to hear a thud. I looked back to see the gas hose on the ground — I burst out laughing. I happened to see an older man who saw what had happened and laughed too. Happily, it wasn’t a “you’re a moron” laugh, but a shared moment where we could shake our heads at being human.

Try one step toward less fear and more courage. The power to be yourself already resides in your soul and definitely within your reach. Simply choose which way to tap into it today.

Connie Sokol is an author, presenter, TV contributor and mother of seven. Contact her at


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