Throughout our lives, there will be moments that require courage. Courage, not avoidance behavior, however tempting that may feel to do in the moment. Often, someone may say or do something, likely unintentionally, that may hurt, disappoint or anger us. Perhaps they’ve crossed one of our boundaries – such as treating us disrespectfully, or not showing up for something very important to us with no explanation.
We have an important choice in these moments. To say something, and give this person an opportunity (and the benefit of the doubt) to understand how his/her actions affected us, and amend the situation. Through this, we can hopefully heal what happened, build trust through the heartfelt conversation, and strengthen the relationship. Many times the situation is a result of misperceptions or misunderstandings. Unfortunately, the more common response is to say nothing or complain to another person about the situation.
However, saying nothing rarely works because inadvertently we are communicating to them. Our hurt or angry feelings are showing up in the relationship as withdrawal, tension, shutting down – or leaking out as frustration, a short fuse, tearfulness, reduced interest, or resentment. Over time, this begins to negatively affect our trust and sense of safety, both of which are pillars for a healthy and positive relationship.
Ways To Find Your Courage
Ask your Self how important this person or relationship is to you. If not important, then you can consider letting it go or distancing your Self by spending less time with him/her. However, if this relationship is important, and you’re feeling strongly about what happened, or there is a pattern to the behavior, then courage is required.
Consider first speaking with a trusted friend, therapist, or coach about the situation, if having a direct conversation with this person feels difficult or anxiety-provoking. You can process your feelings with this trusted person, and role-play different ways/language you could use to communicate directly with the person you are having difficulty with.
Identify 5 different alternative perceptions or reasons for why this situation might have happened. Use your imagination. Do any of these additional perceptions expand your feelings of empathy or compassion for your Self or the other person? Ask your Self, “What am I afraid will happen – if I were to speak directly with this person about my feelings and thoughts about his/her behavior?”
The best way to build courage is through action
This week, reflect on a situation that would benefit from being addressed directly. Notice any area in your life where you feel frustration or resentment – these are helpful clues. Consider what would most help you connect to your courage, and have a direct conversation with the person about whatever situation is on your mind.
Then act courageously (even if you don’t feel it) and do it! Be open to the gifts that come from honoring your Self in this way, and the relationship.
Get in touch with me at email@example.com, if you are ready to move forward in your life, and want to feel more empowered and happier overall. We can have a relaxed conversation about coaching together and schedule a free coaching session if the timing is right.
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