Chapter 25 of my First book: Finding MY Courage and keeping it. Good bye Captain Comfort Zone. I hope!
CHAPTER 25: Finding MY Courage and keeping it. Good bye Captain Comfort Zone. I hope!
When I found my confidence,
my courage just started to grow.
I am sharing this picture of this SELFIE of me.
I thought that it was the first time that I had laid my eyes on New Dave.
So, I took a picture of him.
It was the very same mirror in which I had last seen Old Dave.
Turns out, the guy in the mirror was Newer Dave.
He still had some ways to go.
He still had some more ways to grow.
In growing, his courage.
And then, Newer Dave’s mission was still not going to be over.
Then he would have to maintain that confidence
and that courage.
And what better way to maintain it,
then a bit of TLC!
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance” – Oscar Wilde
August 2017: Captain Comfort Zone has left the building but he has not gone far
It took him a while, but as previously mentioned, Captain Courageous has finally shown up, and he seems to be sticking around these days. By a while, I mean it took him several years. It was a bit of an iterative process. I started developing my courage at work in my previous role, and then as I was launching my new business, and then as I was trying to develop my relationships and improve my communication skills, and then, finally, when I was reaching out as part of my quest to find my soulmate.
It took me a while, because I needed to gain a certain level of confidence in myself and, for me, that could only come from collecting and processing evidence i.e. trying things out. Trying new things out. So, try I did, a.k.a. Captain Courageous did, and the rest is history.
I still like to provide Captain Courageous with a challenge every so often (i.e. I changed a car tire all by myself a couple of months ago, and I drove through the streets of Manhattan a couple of weeks ago) in order to keep him on his toes, but for the most part I am not feeling all that fearful these days.
Unfortunately, though, Captain Comfort zone still seems to be lurking around. He might have left the building, but he is hanging around by the entrance, waiting for someone to invite him back in. It turns out that lack of courage is not the only thing that can keep me in my comfort zone.
Captain Comfort zone has some other friends, a whole bunch of them. A real bunch of shady characters. Captain Complacency is one of them. You may have heard of him, when push comes to shove, he is the one advocating for settling for less. There is Captain Procrastination who goes by the motto “Why do today what we can do tomorrow, or the next day, or the next week”. There is also Captain Distraction. As far as he is concerned, the more distractions the merrier, since more, in this case, results in getting less done, or ideally, nothing done.
The above are only a few of the characters that I will have to contend with as I embark on my second half journey. And let’s not forget my inner critic. I see him as the leader of the gang, encouraging one or more of the others to join him, in what seems to be his mission, to derail my life journey any which way that he can. And he often strikes when I am least expecting it, or when I am least prepared to fight him off, such as late at night or when I am feeling a bit down. Well, at least I am aware of HIM and THEM and, remember, awareness is 9/10th of the battle.
Although I am aware of their existence, they are hard to spot at times. For example, it can be challenging to differentiate between procrastination and a need to take a break and recharge one’s batteries. I guess that is where getting to know myself better and my limits comes into play. Not to mention my schedule, more specifically, my scheduled time to take some time off.
Oh well, upwards and onwards Davey boy. No one said that your second half was going to be easy. The premise is that it will be easier, and much, much, more fulfilling, but be wary, there are always obstacles, and nasty characters around the corner. You have come a long way Captain Courageous, don’t let those folks tell you otherwise. Kudos to you.
Fall 2017: Welcoming NEWER Dave to the fold. And what better way, then with a little TLC!
Speaking of shady characters, one of the nastiest reared his ugly head recently. Now that I think of it, he has shown up on many occasions before, almost always accompanied by my inner critic. They make a formidable team. But this time, he seemed especially nasty. His name? His name is Thomas, Doubting Thomas. His area of expertise? Planting and sowing the seeds of self-doubt, especially as they relate to our dreams and aspirations.
When I mention that Thomas showed up recently, it was during my recent perfect storm. And what perfect storm would be complete without him. I am not sure who invited him to the party but he was there. He was there, and he was doing his best to put as many doubts in me as possible. My belief in my dreams. My belief in myself. He did not seem to be picking on any one particular belief, he seemed to be picking on all of them. “You are no author” and “No one will read your book” etc.
Well, long story short, as mentioned previously, I buckled, but I did not bend. It was easy to start buckling and to start lowering my expectations and reeling in my dreams. All of a sudden, My Comfort Zone started feeling comfortable again. I really struggled with coming up with the energy and desire to keep writing. I almost started believing him. But, fortunately for me, my faith in myself and my dreams was too strong for him. Not only did my inspiration for writing come back during that relatively short period, but I even came up with ideas for my next 3 books. Take that Thomas! Should I put you down for a copy?
Well, Thomas is gone now but I am pretty sure that he will be back, and when he does, I will be waiting for him. In the meantime, I have some things to attend to, including apparently writing a few more books.
Oh! and a little bit of TLC along the way can make all the difference. A little or a LOT.
Talk about believing. What I have found is that, in addition to a bit of faith, a bit of trust can help out on that front as well. To trust oneself. Yes, the T word. Apparently, TRUST is not only important in developing and maintaining relationships. It is also important in developing and maintaining our faith in our dreams and in ourselves.
We might not be able to come up with evidence to support our dreams since they have not happened yet, but we can come up with evidence to support our trust in ourselves. How often had I become discouraged during my halftime transformation, only to pick myself up again shortly thereafter? How often did I deviate from my goals and plans, only to re-orient myself again, shortly thereafter? How often? Often! Very often!
And before you knew it, I felt like I had my own back. I started to trust myself, and the more I trusted myself, the easier it was to fall and not get discouraged. I knew that I would be back up on my feet moving forward again, either the next day, or the next week, or in the case of the perfect storm, the following month. I trusted myself. I trusted that I was doing the right thing and that I would continue to do so. How cool is that! Go Davey Go!
The L-word. I had been a big fan of self-compassion for a while when I joined an ex-colleague and friend of mine for lunch a short time ago. Like me, she had recently undergone a significant life transformation that also involved a change in lifestyle, on that also resulted in weight loss, among many other healthy benefits. She looked so healthy now, that she radiated.
As you can imagine, our discussions soon turned to exchanging tips and techniques on how we had both respectively made and maintained our life changes. I mentioned that I had put together a preliminary list of my top 10 change enablers, and one of my favourites was being compassionate toward oneself. How often do people beat themselves up for doing something that they thought that they should not have done? Or, not doing something that they thought that they should have done? Well not me, I had eaten a cookie the other night and I did not scold myself. I had eaten one cookie. How compassionate of me.
One cookie she replied. “I will sometimes go on an eating binge, junk food and dessert to boot. Do I feel guilty when I do? No. It is what it is. I will go back to the heathier eating when I am ready. I trust myself and have enough confidence and LOVE for myself that there is no doubt or worry whatsoever.” Wow. Self-Love. Note to self. Upgrade self-compassion to self-love on my Top 10 list.
Courage is not the only C-word that comes to mind here. Confidence is another. Since they are related I figure I can cheat and include them both here. When push comes to shove. When the unknown rears its ugly head. When things start to get scary. I cannot think of anything more important than the courage to just keep moving forward. Having the confidence that I am moving in the right direction. Having the confidence that I will be courageous enough to keep moving forward regardless of the challenges. I will not be afraid regardless of how many fire breathing dragons I encounter, for I will have my knight in shining armour next to me. I will have Captain Courageous there, there right next to me. Welcome Captain Courageous. I am looking forward to our journey together.
Trust, Love and Courage. Put all three of those words together and what does it spell, “TLC”. Aside from a little “tender loving care”, I can’t think of anything else that I believe will serve me as well as I embark on my journey, on my second half life journey.
Enjoy the journey Newer Dave.
Your second half of YOUR Newer Life Journey!
You too Captain Courageous.
I LOVE YOU buddy!
So, What did I learn?
How did I make change EASYer on myself 😊 (or not ☹)
Believing in oneself. I am not sure how one maintains the energy to move forward along the path that we believe is best for us without it. Yet I find that, that belief, sometimes ebbs and flows and, when it ebbs, that is when I try and make it EASYer on myself by drawing on a little TLC. T is for TRUST (as in myself). L for LOVE (of the unconditional kind). And, last but not least, C is for Courage (in my case, one of my newly found friends).
Oh, and don’t forget about the other kind of TLC i.e. Tender Loving Care. Don’t forget to share some of it with others. It might just encourage them to share some back. Next thing you know, your TLC bucket will be overflowing, from both the giving and receiving, and that comes in handy during the times when your beliefs and energy levels are a bit on the lower side of things.
That was all about me. What about YOU?What are you doing to make your journey of change EASYer on YOU? 😊 (or not ☹)
What type of characters are hanging around with you these days?
Are they nasty or nice?
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