Episode #25: Find the Courage you need to Be Extraordinary
Are you ready to be the extraordinary person you were born to be? The life you’ve always dreamt of is so much easier than you think, and we are going to look at how this month on The Samantha Leith Show with me, Samantha Leith. Over the four weeks, we’re going to look at clarity, confidence, courage, and charisma, which what I think are the four key components of how to be extraordinary. Let’s go.
What can we learn from The Wizard of Oz? So much. And I’m not just talking about clicking your heels together. “You’re nothing but a great big coward,” Dorothy said sternly to The Cowardly Lion when she first met him in the woods, with The Scarecrow and The Tin Man. When the Wizard says to the Lion, “You’re a victim of disorganized thinking,” it’s us. We have these stories that keep us safe. But in reality, it’s keeping us trapped. The Lion received his medal for courage, but it may as well have been a heart like The Tin Man. Cor is actually the Latin word for heart, the word originally meant to speak one’s mind while telling all one’s heart. The Lion’s so desperate to be brave, realized he had courage all along.
As for Dorothy, perhaps the greatest discovery of all. “You’ve always had the power, my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself.” Glenda the Good Witch said that to her. You, my friends have the power in you. I’ve got the power. Sorry. What exactly is courage? Some say it’s feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Some say it’s being fearless, the ability to do something that frightens one. It’s bravery, strength in the face of pain or grief, the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Sounds awful.
I think it starts with the ability to look at yourself with total honesty. And that’s hard. It’s that honesty that gives you what you need in order to move forward. And yes, we’re born with a certain amount of courage. If not, we wouldn’t start taking those first steps with no idea of how to do it. We were babies that could see something we wanted to do and knew we couldn’t do it, so we tried and then we fell over and then we tried again and we fell over and we tried again. We were encouraged and cheered on. By the time we’re old enough, we’re having superhero parties and thinking we’re indestructible. Then sadly, life starts to take a toll. School, parenting, friends, failures, social commentary, all of it strips away at that courageous being inside us. And we need to grow it again in order to live an extraordinary life. And yes, courage and confidence are BFFFs. BFs? Do you think you’re courageous? Well, a lot of experts in this area agree there are six types of courage. There’s physical courage, emotional courage, intellectual courage, social courage, moral courage, and spiritual courage.
There are probably gazillion traits or characteristics of courageous people, but here’s 10 I believe in strongly. And yep, they’re very similar to the traits of confident people. They feel fearful, yet still take action. They follow their heart. They think big and step into the unknown. They stand up for what’s right and what they believe in. They welcome failure. Not afraid to say no or sorry when appropriate. Willing to show genuine emotion. Be able to ask for help, persistent, and have a growth mindset.
For the next week, I’d love for you to track your courage and yep, it’s in the download, but for now, let’s look at your past relationship with courage. We’ve all been faced with that huge moment where you could choose courage. Did you? I know there’ve been times when I did and times when I didn’t. You may even think of them as like those sliding door moments, the what-ifs. Sometimes I’ve been a tiger and other times I’ve retreated into comfort and I’ve missed something that, well, may have been spectacular and I’ll never know.
Some of the questions you may ask yourself are what is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done? What happened? What didn’t happen? What is something you really wish you’d been courageous enough to do, but you didn’t? Again, what happened and what didn’t happen? What was it costing you to not be courageous in that moment? And what did you get out of staying safe? Because I promise you you did. You can look at the past for these lessons and you forgive yourself or others where you need to, but do not use this past as a marker for your future success.
Ironically, this may seem a bit scary, but I encourage you to write out a fear and belief list. When we’re afraid of things, it’s usually wrapped up in a belief. Me? I’m sometimes really scared of sales calls because I might get rejected, and well, jumping out of a plane just seems bloody stupid because my mother told me it wasn’t safe. When we don’t do something because of being held back by fear, there’s usually something we’re also getting out of it. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. You don’t go for that goal because you’re scared of failure. You’re staying in your comfort zone and you can live with what I call the lotto dream of imagining your success, which can feel nice and cozy. So, yes, have a think about your negative beliefs and your fears and see what you can flip on the head, do the list and do what you can to increase your courage.
Ah, boundaries. One of the most courageous things you can do is to have them and stick to them. In the words of Brené Brown, “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.” The definition of a boundary is something that indicates or fixes a limit or extent. Physically that could be a fence or a border. And in our lives, it’s the line between what we will and what we won’t accept. Women especially are pretty crap historically at setting boundaries. But we’re getting better. It’s about saying yes to yourself, not about saying no to others. And most certainly not about trying to control others. Some of the signs you may need better boundaries are yes is your most common word. You feel used and you get resentful. Guilt is a default thought. You tend to be like a moth to a flame with dominant people. You’re defensive. You feel responsible a lot and you’re tired and not looking after yourself.
Okay, Sam, but why are boundaries important? Great question. Thanks for asking. Boundaries boost self-esteem. They support courage and confidence. They conserve our emotional and physical energy. They promote self-responsibility, cultivate more honest relationships and so much more. Then there’s different types of boundaries, from physical to intellectual, financial and more. Yep, in the worksheet. And they can be really rigid, like a boundary on fidelity or a little more flexible, like people just dropping by. When setting boundaries, we often think we need to sit the other party down and declare the boundary and get their agreement… Nope. You don’t have to communicate it at all. However, sometimes it is better to. You have to be clear on the boundary and take any action required.
When you have healthy boundaries, it means you’re aware of your needs. You value your identity and you don’t automatically compromise yourself, often just because it’s what you do. When you listen to all of this, you might think you’re a shocker, and well, maybe you are. Sorry. But if you go through the exercises, you may be surprised at what you’re actually concrete on. Look at your current life. I have strong boundaries around. Da da da da da. I need better boundaries around. Ba da da da da. I respond to boundaries with… What do you think about all of this? I feel negative when this happens, and I’m able to do this, or I have the right to do something else.
Then it’s about creating the boundary. What is it about the situation that you want to change? What would you actually like to happen? And what consequences are you willing to act on? And if you need to, communicate the boundary, discuss the situation, state your request, and explain the consequences. Remember you don’t always need to do that, but if you are communicating the boundary, be assertive, be kind, be clear, be brief, be respectful, be calm, and be neutral.
And you want to use I statements. Here’s an example. “When you didn’t ask if you could borrow my red coat, I felt a bit used. Please don’t take my belongings without asking me. This trust is important to me. And if I can lend you something when you ask, I will.” People may push back when you start down this road and that’s okay. Persevere and most people will begin to understand the new you. Boundaries are amazing, freeing and a vital part of healthy relationships.
Finally, I’ll give you my fav tips. No is a complete sentence. It’s okay to change your mind. You must follow through and you’ve got to get comfortable with discomfort. I really encourage you to watch the Power of Vulnerability with Brené Brown, and then ask yourself some questions about how you feel about the topic. Things like what do you do when you feel emotionally exposed, and describe a time when you felt truly vulnerable and it had a good outcome. And maybe describe the qualities you see in vulnerable people in your life. Are there any that you see in you or some that you’d like to adopt?
I actually don’t think I really understood vulnerability until about 12 months ago, when I sat on a bench on my morning walk, sobbing my eyes out and deep in thought. I’d been seeing someone that had helped me feel, well, truly seen. I’d shared things I’d never shared with anyone. And yeah, the relationship did not work out anyway. I felt physically and emotionally exposed like I’d never felt before. And all my thoughts poured out into a letter I wrote to myself. The full letter’s online if you want to have a read, but I encourage you to write yourself a letter about being really transparent, really honest, and yes, vulnerable. The words can’t hurt you, but those thoughts and emotions left alone inside you will not help you to be the extraordinary person you can be.
Thank you so much for watching this week’s episode of The Samantha Leith Show. I do really believe you are born to be extraordinary, and I’d love to help you achieve your vision. So head on over to www.samanthaleith.com/freebies, I always forget which way, for this month’s workbook and tag me or message me about your progress.
Please like, share, comment, and subscribe so I can help more people to see the extraordinary in themselves.
🎶 Fuckin’ Perfect
Songwriters: Alecia Moore / Johan Schuster / Max Martin © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
🎙️ Produced by Samantha Leith / Michael Allen
Vocals by Samantha Leith