Love Your Life: Create a Courage Practice

T ell me darling, how’s the New Year’s Focus feeling?  When you went through the process of digging in and arthur_surnoff_sailingidentifying what you want in 2013, I’m betting that some of those dreams and desires were gargantuan.  But here we are, just a few weeks into the new year, and you’re already questioning yourself.

May I make a guess what happened?  Your Inner Critic appeared suddenly appeared.   She said things like, “get in touch with reality,” and “that’s not a practical idea,” or “that isn’t what you should do,” or maybe even “that’s too big to accomplish this year, so why bother?”

And, because you’re human, you listened.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret: your inner critic is simply trying to trying to keep you safe, because change – even good change – is scary.

So what happens when our Inner Critic speaks out?  We self-sabotage and then get into a cycle of beating ourselves up for not following our dreams.

We want to write a book, but we avoid any kind of writing practice because we fear that it might be stupid.  We want to be in a part of a loving partnership, but we’re afraid of getting hurt so we avoid dating or meeting new folks.  We hate our job, but we tell ourselves that we’re too old to “start over”.  We want to be desirable to our lover, but we don’t wear that sexy dress for a night on the town because we’re terrified of what other people might think.

Sweet darling, we become paralyzed. 

What we are doing isn’t taking precautions. What we are really doing is allowing our fears to block our steps toward the lives our hearts know we are meant to live. We are allowing societal beliefs to limit our potential. We are strangling our own creativity and joy.

We let our fear convince us that we’re undeserving of happiness or success.

Let me be frank: I know that it can be terrifying to make changes.  But, honey, don’t settle in life because you’re afraid. You deserve to live a bigger, bolder life.

Now, I’m a realist and know that you can’t make your fears vanish with the wave of a magic wand. I know from experience, though, that you CAN step through the fear and into courage.

In fact, we can do it together by creating a Courage Practice.  Together, we will make 2013 the year we boldly grab courage by the horns and fall more deeply in love with our lives and who we are.

How do we do this?

You begin by taking one courageous baby step after another.

By tackling your fear in increments. By creating successes for yourself.  By making a commitment to yourself that you will step up in your life.

You see, just like lifting weights results in better muscle tone, and a gratitude practice reminds us of what a beautiful life we’re living, creating a courage practice sets a foundation for change and growth.

Just as each day of exercise makes your body stronger, so, too, will you become stronger in spirit with each act of courage. Building your courage muscle takes time, but with each step, you’ll gain confidence and will discover all the good in your life.

You’ll embrace who you really are and fall more deeply in love with yourself.

So, here’s the deal, kitten: I created a Courage Agreement to begin our 2013 Courage Practice.

First of all, download this free Courage Agreement.  (There’s even a list of 100 ideas for practicing courage as a part of the download!)

Next, you decide upon 10 acts of courage you will take in the next 30 Days.

Maybe you need to break down one of your big dreams into a single steps.  Maybe you need to release some clutter from your life.  Courage will look different to everyone. 

For some people, giving a presentation to 100 people is easy;  to others, it’s courageous.  I’m not asking you to Sky Dive (unless it’s on your bucket list!).  I’m asking you to make your world bigger by stepping into your courage.

Then, babycakes, we’ll lean into the pure delight of what our soul is longing for us to do.  We’ll take some tiny steps – and some bold ones. You will be reassuring your Inner Critic that it’s ok to challenge your fears. 

You’ll show her by taking action!

I promise you that when you do this, it makes tackling the bigger fears feel more doable.  You see, darling, courage, at its core, is about strengthening your relationship with yourself. Which is just the beginning of making you an unstoppable force of dreams and desires.

When you’ve completed your Courage Agreement, you’ll shout it from the rooftops, share it with close friends, or send me a note.

Then, darling,  you’ll download a fresh copy of the Courage Agreement and continue your Courage Practice by choosing another ten courageous acts to take next month.

Darling, you deserve to make your dreams a reality. You deserve to fall in love with your life.  All you need is love, faith, and a splash of courage.

What about YOU?  Are you ready to begin a Courage Practice?  Share at least ONE act of courage you’re willing to take in the next 30 days….

Tags: , , , , , ,

By Debra Smouse: Writer, life coach, and Tarnished Southern Belle, Debra helps people fall in love with their life. An expert de-tangler, she believes in busting clutter as a path to greater clarity and that within every woman is vibrant, passionate, and sexy being just itching to make their inner sex kitten roar. A native Texan, she resides in Ohio with the Man of her Dreams.

11 Responses to “Love Your Life: Create a Courage Practice” Subscribe

  1. Allison Crow January 17, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    Love love the idea of a courage list! and I love your tips! These give me some good ideas for making my list. I saw that one was sharing with a friend, so I am going to share this post with my bff and we can make our lists together.

    One thing I wan to do–that feels a little courageous for me right get back to yoga–ive been out of practice for a few years…and I’m certainly not as physically able as I was before…but I am going to put on my big girl panties and give it a go!
    Thanks for an inspiring post and freebie!

    • Debra January 18, 2013 at 9:15 am #

      Thanks so much, Allison! I love having an Accountable Courage Buddy!!

      Let me know how going back to Yoga feels. I’d love to know!

      As for me, on courageous thing I’m doing this month is not checking my email in the mornings until after I’ve written in my paper journal.


  1. Want to Fall in Love? Start with Peace | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Writer | Expert Detangler | Tarnished Southern Belle - January 24, 2013

    […] here’s the deal, kitten:  just like we began a Courage Practice with a Courage Agreement, I offer you the opportunity to begin an Acceptance Practice with a Peace Agreement (download your […]

  2. Discover Your Inner Wisdom | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Writer | Expert Detangler | Tarnished Southern Belle - February 5, 2013

    […] I learned that the passion I allowed to blossom in my heart was actually a fire that burned away the fears. […]

  3. Twelve Ways to Spring Forward with Ease | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Tarnished Southern Belle - March 9, 2013

    […] a friend who wasn’t feeling scattered. Often, darling, we forget that change can cause us to get lost in fears.  Just set your intent for kindness. Realize, too, that you’re not alone, that you will adjust […]

  4. Your Heart’s Desires: How You Want to Feel | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Tarnished Southern Belle - March 29, 2013

    […] You see, I believe that each of us was put on this earth for a purpose.  We are born into the world with our souls set on fire to explore and create and be bold.  Life happens, though, and we sometimes give in to the need to remain safe and small and unchanged. […]

  5. 45 in 45: A Lifetime of Lessons | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Tarnished Southern Belle - May 25, 2013

    […] something that scares you. The real juice of life is in the […]

  6. The Voice of Logic is Sometimes Fear | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Tarnished Southern Belle - June 14, 2013

    […] I would love to tell you that I am always the “Courage Whisperer”.  […]

  7. A Vision Begins with Awareness | 30 Days to Clarity - August 16, 2013

    […] walk through the fire will tell you, I had to hit rock bottom in my marriage and life in order to gather enough courage to walk out that damned […]

  8. Create a Life You Love by Trusting Your Gut | Debra Smouse - Life Coach | Tarnished Southern Belle - September 10, 2013

    […] believe in what you can’t see.  You find courage and strength within yourself.  You begin to let go of your need for certainty. You stop living […]

  9. The Secret to Overnight Success | Debra Smouse - June 25, 2014

    […] here’s the truth about courage. Courage isn’t about the absence of fear, darling. It’s about moving into and through that […]