"Fear knocked at the door, love answered and no one was there."
When author/coach Debbie Ford passed away at an untimely 57 following a long battle with cancer, the world lost a true great. In her Commemorative Note, Cheryl Richardson acknowledges how confrontational, emotionally cathartic and fearless Debbie’s work is. Wayne Dyer recognizes how significantly her legacy continues to heal the world. As each of us reads, we will notice how intensely personal yet widely-practical is her best-selling book, COURAGE: Igniting Self-Confidence. Indeed, this powerful volume offers multiple processes for overcoming insecurity plus fear, thus unlocking the courage within.
The Big Idea
The Culprit versus the Courageous Warrior
"We need the backbone of a warrior if we are to be willing to go face-to-face with that which has made us feel weak, impotent and unable to change."
As Ford remarks, fear can be highly persuasive, arriving as it often does disguised via the Voice of Uncertainty. Over time, we become filled with worry, doubt and even dread. And, if we don’t take up the battle to conquer these culprits, they only get louder with every year.
When we avoid, deny or attempt to muscle through, we unwittingly fall into the trap, “What you resist persists.” Instead, we need to befriend our fears and use them as fuel to propel us into a world of courage plus confidence. As an ally, fear urges us to move forward precisely in those areas of life where we feel most unfulfilled or emotionally challenged.
For Ford, the greatest act of courage is to be and own all of who you are – without apology, excuses or masks. She invites us to think about how audacious it is to really believe in ourselves. To reach this potent place, we’re offered seven Codes of the Courageous Warrior:
- Divine Confidence
- Emotional Freedom
- Heartfelt Compassion
- Loving Heart
- Inspired Vision
- Supreme Beauty
The Code of Inspired Vision
"You must allow yourself to be intuitively pulled toward something other than what you know right now or what you can see."
Each Code is rich unto itself and worthy of careful contemplation if we are to move from the head into the heart. Though this Code falls later in the book, it’s vital for awakening from the trance induced by repetitively thinking about old hurts and regrets. Here are some extracted ideas to ignite visionary self-confidence:
- Calling on the power of your imagination. Allow yourself to see a vision of your future in which you’re passionately living your purpose.
- Acknowledging your fear. Make a list of your fears about living your vision. Give voice to the fear but then send love to that scared part of yourself.
- Your resources. Make a list of the actions you would take, the people you would surround yourself with, and the resources you would need to move forward with your vision.
- Being in the presence of your vision. Put in place a simple practice or activity that keeps you in the presence of your vision every day.
Courage Activators & Confidence Boosters
"The way to allow that warrior to have a voice is to become unrecognizable to yourself, to move outside your comfort zone…to release that self-image you’ve kept trying to live up to over and over again."
In light of the subtitle, each of Code’s exercises conclude with a Courage Activator, Confidence Builder and Courage/Confidence Bonus. What follows are selected supplementary reflections to further embrace our greatness:
- Make a list of seven times in your life when you’ve been courageous.
- Make a list of five risks you have taken. Let yourself feel proud of your courage and confidence.
- Make a list of seven situations in which you told the truth even though you didn’t want to.
- List five times in your life when you admitted you were wrong.
- Find three people you need to make amends with. With a heart-opening call or email, say you’re sorry and offer them your love.
- Make a list of why the world needs you as a courageous warrior plus how you will use your strength and power in the future. Share your list with five people you feel safe and comfortable with.
When we do the work called forth by COURAGE: Igniting Self-Confidence, we leave behind the voices of hopelessness, helplessness, insecurity and powerlessness. By contrast, we heed the voices of Acceptance, Power, Confidence, Courage and Strength. It’s up to each of us which set we choose to listen to.
Talk about a Call to Action! I’m ready to answer that larger future asking me to rise up. Will you join me in stepping up to the plate?