Courage is embracing vulnerability by telling your story. It’s admitting when you are struggling and when you are proud of your success. Courage is discovering who you are and living that truth.
Sharing your story is liberating. We tend to put on a mask for others to see at the expense of our true selves. Courage is dropping the mask and being true to who you are.
Trying to always be what others want you to be is exhausting and pulls you farther and farther away from your true identity.
Courage is owning your story without shame.
Our goal should be to live an authentic and transparent life and that includes sharing our fears. We believe that if we express our fear that we are in some way weak but we all experience fear in some form or another.
Courage is leading with your heart. It’s standing up for someone in need. It’s putting your moral values ahead of being accepted by others. Courage is leaning into Truth and surrendering to Light.
Courage is accepting who you are and showing yourself love and compassion. This doesn’t mean you settle for mediocrity and discard your evolution. It’s loving who you are at this stage of the journey as you continue to grow into the most beautiful version of yourself.
Courage is pushing past fear. It’s about showing up and being unapologetically you. Courage is failing and then showing up again and again and again.
If we hide our fears, we allow those fears to keep a hold on us. By admitting them, you can begin to move past them. Fear is designed to keep us safe but it can cripple us if we hold tightly onto it. Be courageous and own your fears. Thank them for trying to keep you safe and send them merrily on their way.
Courage is aligning with your values and acting accordingly, no matter the consequence. If everyone around you is behaving in a way that does not align with your values, courage is turning around and walking away.
As social beings, we feel that we need the acceptance and validation of others which can lead us into a lot of trouble! (Hello, peer pressure!)
I think there are many instances in the life of an equestrian in which we show courage but the one I want to write about today is showing. I have been competing horses for over twenty years and yet I still experience some self doubt as I approach a show. Each time we enter into the show arena we are opening ourselves up to criticism (we actually pay for it!). Anyone who has ridden in a Dressage test can most likely attest to the feeling of vulnerability as we put ourselves, our horses and our training on display. Time, money, blood, sweat and tears goes into our training and it feels like it all culminates into those five or six minutes in the show ring. As if if it doesn’t go as planned, it is somehow a reflection on who we are. Bad ride? I must be a terrible rider and because I’m a terrible rider I am worthless. It doesn’t make sense but in the heat of the moment that is exactly how it feels. Courage is continuing to put yourself out there and understanding that each experience has valuable lessons to help us grow.
When I competed a few weeks ago, the schooling day before the show I felt myself getting tense when riding my horse because there were several other trainers coaching in the warm up and while I believe my horse and I have improved, many of these people hadn’t seen us out and about in a while and I was worried that they would think had made no progress at all. I was extra critical of myself- i hadn’t made my horse wasn’t reactive enough, my piaffe was struggling and my ones were hit or miss. Of course my horse could feel my tension and I have to be a certain amount of relaxed for him to work forward for me. I really had to give myself a pep talk- why are you so concerned about what others think? You should be damned proud you trained your horse to this level on your own. So what if you aren’t the best Grand Prix rider in the world? You’re getting better each and every day. Let’s just do our best and go out and have a great time. It took courage for me to push past that fear of worrying what others would think and once I let that fear go, I went onto have a great show and had an amazing time.
Where do you show courage in your life? Playing it small may feel safe but you only cheat yourself out of living a true and meaningful life. Identify your values, discover your gifts and share them with the world. Be unapologetically you!