In all 24 years of my life, I had never thought about how my thoughts on self-love were connected to my ability to be courageous or fearless. Until recently.
Being bold has never been “my thing.” I’d rather hide in the background. Or so I led myself to believe. As I’m getting more familiar with myself, I’m learning that maybe that isn’t so true after all. Maybe it has been fear that limits my perception of who I’m capable of being. And that fear has come from not believing in myself fully.
Here are some mindset shifts I’ve been working to develop in my life to encourage bravery through self-love.
We’re 100% responsible for our lives
Hang out with me for a minute on this one. We control our thoughts and our thoughts create our feelings. With those feelings, we’ll choose to take some form of action – one of courage or one of fearfulness. Once we truly grasp the fact that we are in control of how we choose to live our lives, it becomes so much easier to challenge ourselves.
In contrast, there will always be elements of our lives that we cannot control. And that is lovely to think about too! We can only be in control of how we think and feel about change, because change will happen regardless. A lot of us refuse to take responsibility and get wrapped up in a pity-party about how nothing goes our way. If we choose to have faith in ourselves (and beyond ourselves), we’re set. But it means that we have to stop blaming the world for our actions.
“I’ve made it through ____, so I can handle anything.”
It’s always good to recognize ourselves for our past achievements. We’ve gotten through a lot of scary stuff in the past. If we’ve pushed ourselves in the past, we can reflect back on that and recreate the feelings of courageousness in this new moment. The tough stuff serves a purpose in our lives. It shows us how far we’ve come and what we can accomplish.
Even bosses/real adults feel like they’re wingin’ it
Nobody has it all figured out. I used to think that when someone turned thirty, they automatically had their lives figured out. I’m turning twenty-five soon and I’m learning from people in their thirties (and beyond) it isn’t true. And even some bosses who I admire, who seem like they know everything, still feel like they’re figuring it out. That was an amazing way for me to get back to feeling confident in what I do. If everyone feels a little bit like they’re wingin’ it and it’s normal to feel that way, I feel more at home. It’s when we start feeling alone that we believe we’re not doing it right. Be comfortable with the fact that you’re a part of an imperfect world and we’re all struggling in one way or another.
We’re so small
Ah, we’re so tiny in this universe. Look up at the sky and the stars. Look at how big the mighty universe is. We’re only a little tiny speck. If you believe in a God or the Universe, being reminded of our smallness can be so helpful in stepping back and getting over ourselves. Let’s not let our egos get bigger than we are.
It will never be perfect
Sometimes we get scared before completing a big project and sending it out into the world feels way too scary. So instead of hitting send, we just let our ideas sit. We make excuses on why we’re holding back. “It’s not good enough yet.” Or, “I have so much more to say.” We can talk about how we don’t want to put work out onto the world until it’s as perfect as possible. But I can tell you right now, that day isn’t likely to come. It’s rather silly that instead of putting out good work, we’ll choose to put out nothing because it can’t be perfect. You can choose to be the person who does nothing in fear or a person who does great (not perfect, but great) work and shows up. Choose to show up and own it.
We can be incomparable in a comparison-based world
The best way to be brave and courageous is to remind ourselves that the beauty of others doesn’t negate our own. Just because a rose is beautiful, doesn’t mean that a sunflower isn’t. Let’s remind ourselves of that, because one of the saddest ways to rip away our self-love is to decide that our worth is dependent on our rank amongst others. We are un-rankable. We are beyond that. Transcend beyond numbers. We can’t let ourselves be a part of an algorithm. It’s such a disservice to the source that made us.
Nothing matters as much as we think it does
I’ve been shy for most of my life, so hearing something like this was hard for me to swallow. Whether I want to believe it or not, being shy is a self-absorbed place to be. It meant that I believed my actions were super important and that people cared a lot about them. I wasn’t willing to contribute my ideas for the longest time, because of fear that I would make a fool of myself. I’d be lying if I said I’ve mastered this, it’s definitely one of my biggest struggles. But it helps me when I remind myself that people are constantly in their own heads. While someone might gossip about us, it’s never for long and it’s never about us. It’s about them: their insecurities and their beliefs.
I remind myself of this every day: what people say or think about me isn’t about me. It’s about them- their insecurities & their beliefs.
— Coley Lane (@coley_ln) June 23, 2016
The worst that can happen is a feeling
I learned this gem from the lovely Brooke Castillo from The Life Coach School Podcast. She discusses mindset and how because our thoughts create our feelings, the worst thing that can happen to us is a feeling. If we can learn to be okay with feeling our feelings, we’re unstoppable. What happens if we’re not afraid to fall? If we have faith and unconditional love in ourselves, our fear is limited. We don’t need to be afraid, because we’re okay with the potential heartbreak. We know that we can find our way back.
Self-love is powerful and it’s totally achievable. While we may never feel self-love 100% of the time, reflecting back to these mindset shifts can make us show up and be more courageous in our lives. Let’s go and show some bravery today.
Let us know something courageous you’ve done lately in the comments below!
Want tools for becoming your best self?
Get access to our 40 favorite personal growth recommendations (books, documentaries, and more) that inspire us.