I’m currently reading Brendon Burchard’s “Motivation Manifesto” and there’s a line in the section of the book about fear that talks about devoting ourselves to courage. I believe when you live a joyful, passionate, authentic life, devoting yourself to courage is necessary. So today I ask you, what are you devoted to?
Devote; to give all or a large part of one’s time or resources to (a person, activity or cause).
I read this definition and immediately thought, me; that’s what I need to be devoted to. My happiness. My joy. My life. Because if I don’t devote myself to my own life first how can I expect to feel the health, happiness and freedom I’ll need to give generously to others? Courage is a key ingredient on this path.
But what does it really mean to devote ourselves to this? Do folks really understand the magnitude of the act of devotion? Do they realize the work, the healing, the discipline required to live a devoted life?
When I first thought about the word I immediately thought about relationships and marriage; about the way we devote ourselves to other people. How we give them our time and resources and eventually a chunk of ourselves in the process, thinking we’re doing the right thing. Devotion, in this case, requires sacrificing ourselves, which ultimately helps nobody. A body-mind-spirit that’s functioning on empty has nothing to give but their reserves and will quickly burn out.
I’m more interested in Brendon’s idea of devoting ourselves to courage, and how that way of being in the world means you are continually living in full expression, brave, authentic and true to your desires. Devoting ourselves to courage means we’re living inside of purpose for something that matters. And in doing so, we end up filling our tanks and reaping the rewards of overflow. It’s from that overflow that we can give freely.
The alternative feels tight to me. I’m thinking of the lack of devotion, or resignation or fear. Living a life where doubt, fear, and resignation are allowed to rule means you’re never tasting full-on joy. Never really taking a deep breath. Never overcoming to make a transition to something you really want. Sounds like prison to me.
How do we devote ourselves to courage? First by declaring it. Then by using awareness to observe our thoughts, beliefs, and actions. Through that awareness, we have a choice to think, believe and act differently – courageously. How do we devote ourselves to courage? One mindful moment at a time.
Courage means something different for everyone, so the first thing we can do is figure out what we need to be brave about. I like to use my journal for this. I usually start by spending time writing about my wildest dreams, the stuff that really lights my fire. And then I go back and imagine myself doing it – and see where and when my body contracts a little in fear.
I see myself on stage, speaking about healing to a large crowd. And then a voice from somewhere in my head says, “Oh, you can’t do that, you’ll screw up, you aren’t good enough, nobody will be interested.” I’m suddenly small, powerless and unworthy. And right there’s how I know where I need to devote myself to courage – in the moments of being out loud (literally) in the world about the gifts I was meant to share.
It’s not going to be difficult to know where you need to be brave. Just visualize your dreams and see how your mind paralyzes you. That right there is the ticket to your freedom. What do you need to do? What baby step can you take to overcome that fear and take action toward it? You’ll see that devoting yourself to courage is about this kind of awareness and what you’re willing to do once you are aware.
Devoting myself to courage has meant many things. First and foremost I had to start speaking up. I had to get my thoughts and dreams out of my body and verbalize them to someone. Everything started getting real when I made my dreams known, and became accountable to them. I had to overcome my fear of speaking to other people about who I was and what I really wanted.
Devoting myself to courage meant I had to know I was worthy. In order to be able to speak up, I first had to know I deserved to be heard. I had to do the healing work that uncovered my light, helped me recognize it and allowed me to stand confidently in it when I was with other people.
Honestly, once I felt worthy, devoting myself to courage was easy because I knew my dream mattered and that my pursuit of it would help others.
I encourage you to find the path that helps you know what to be courageous about. To know what matters to you. To know what you really want. Right in the middle of your most passionate desires you’ll find the answers. Don’t just stare into that pool. Run and cannonball my friends!