Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy

Courage or Comfort?

Here’s a question I hear a lot:

“How do I know it’s time to move jobs/country/city/relationship? How do I know it’s right? I’m really scared if I make this move it might not work out for me.”

Such is the concern when we dance on the edge of a precipice of a life-changing choice, either large or small. It’s my privilege and honour to hold the hands many smart men and women as they make some awe-inspiring choices of change for the better.

Great change is often accompanied by this one great question: “How do I know it’s right?” and the simple statement of truth “but…I’m scared”.

How do we get past this?

The thing to know when you are facing any great change is this: do not get your sense of “rightness” mixed up with the emotion of fear. Try and separate the two.

The “rightness” you will feel in your body. No amount of clever logic can ever make up for that grounded, centered, aligned feeling in your body that tells you that this thing is the right way to go. If you stop and get still and quiet, the wise guide of your body will let you know, without doubt, that something is a Hell Yes. Or a Hell No. Rightness can be felt and you can trust it. Get quiet. Listen. Trust. Then get logical and pragmatic and use your smart brain to make some smart choices, but first – for the rightness – it lives in your body. Light feels right. Heavy feels wrong.

On the scariness thing. Well, this is where you logical mind to work. It’s very rare for any big decision to come WITHOUT some degree of fear attached, but – crucially – that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong choice. Many people will wait whole lifetimes to make a choice to live their passion or to follow their calling – they wait, and they wait, and they wait. They wait for the decision to come with the absence of fear. For it to feel right AND comfortable. They make feeling comfortable a condition on which the rightness is based. And so, they wait, they wait for right + comfortable, right + comfortable. And that day often never comes.

Right + comfortable may come hand in hand for you. If so you are very lucky and should leap at that chance in an instant! But many times the decisions that are right and powerful in your life will also come with a feeling of nerves and trepidation. Excitement or butterflies. Don’t confuse that feeling with wrongness.

Life is like a series of monkey bars. In order to progress you have to let go of the bar behind you, be swinging unbalanced in mid air, clinging on with just one hand, as you build momentum and swing across to the next bar. There is a moment of fear that is a natural and integral part of the process of progression.

The popular, and brilliant, academic and author Brene Brown recently wrote,

“You can choose courage, or you can choose comfort. You cannot have both”.

She is spot on. Once we know what is right we often need to muster our reserves of courage to make it ours. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is doing what you feel is right despite the presence of it.

Rightness can come with a degree of discomfort that’s needed to achieve it. An eye watering mortgage. Waving a loved one goodbye at the airport as pastures new beckon. Returning to study as a mature student. The leap into a midlife career change. Daring to love again. A degree of discomfort is always going to be present, but it doesn’t make it wrong.

Courage or comfort.

One or the other.

You choose.

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Positive Thought Strategy

Can’t Find Your Passion?

What is it that allows some people to harness their passion, follow it almost effortlessly, and yet it’s such a struggle for so many others? It’s hard to even find their passion, let alone follow it! It’s so common for so many not to follow their passion, I wanted to look at what stops us and how to move past it today. Take it from me, a life where you are connected to your passion is a whole different kind of life and it’s something everyone deserves to experience! But we don’t. Why?

Well, most of the time what stops us is fear.

Fear that it won’t work.

Fear that we will fail.

That others won’t approve.

That we won’t be able to make bank.

That we’ve got it wrong.

Fear. Fear. Fear.

And here’s where things get stuck:

Our fear becomes greater than our courage.

And when our fear becomes bigger than our courage, we fail to act.

I have found working with so many beautiful, brave coaching clients who become ready, willing and able to step up and create the life of their dreams – that deep, deep, DEEP down almost everyone does know where their passion really does lie. They have just buried it under layers of fear. Their fear. The fear of those around them. Cultural fear.

It’s not that they can’t find their passion – it’s that they haven’t found the courage to act on it yet.

And you know what – that’s a good thing. It’s good to know – that you do know – and really you do – that whisper from your soul is there for everyone – you know where your passion lies.

courageYou don’t need a game of hide and seek to find it. You actually just need to work your courage muscles, flex them hard, and build them so they are bigger than your fear of moving towards that which calls you.

One of my favourite quotes of all time is from Anais Nin who said “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

For me that rings 100% true.

Those with the biggest, most connected and passion-filled lives are the ones who have shown the most courage in moving towards them.

Those with small and unhappy lives are pretty much always characterised by being driven by fear, conflict aversion and lacking in the courage to take a risk or make a stand.

Life truly does shrink or expand in proportion to our courage.

The super talented author and professional lifehacker Tim Ferriss sums it up in a similar way: “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

And again. He is spot on. We are back to courage. It all starts with courage.

So – consider this – if you have been seeking your passion for some time – consider calling off the search.

Know that deep down you already know the answer.

Your passion isn’t OUT THERE to be found.

It’s a deep whisper from INSIDE for you to call forth.

It’s about developing the courage to not only listen to it.

But act on it.

Consider it’s less about passion and more about courage.

Focus on the courage piece.

You can start developing that this very day. By having that tricky conversation you have been avoiding. By walking away from that situation that no longer serves you. By trying the new hobby that terrifies and excites you in equal measure. By speaking to the stranger at the party. Build your courage muscles. Every day presents new opportunities to do it. Courage. Courage. Courage.

It’s rare that you can’t find your passion; it’s much more common that you have not found your courage.

So, if you are struggling to find your passion, instead focus on building the number of ways you display courage in your life. Once you change that pattern you will find your passion will present itself to you, right on cue. Seriously, it’s magical, I see it in my coaching room every day with my evermore courageous clients.


“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

~ Nelson Mandela

Be Brave. Play Big. Shine Bright.

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