“There are many different types of courage: Emotional Courage, Moral Courage, Intellectual Courage, Physical Courage etc. However, I believe that it all starts with Self Courage. You need to find the courage within yourself to move forward and do what is necessary, do what is required.”
It was the evening of 2nd Nov and I was with Harlan Hammack, who was interviewing me for his podcast ‘The Courage to Lead’. Harlan asked me about how I found the courage to move forwards after I lost my job in 2015, which led me to eventually writing my book and becoming a #1 International Bestselling Author.
“When I lost my job back in 2015, I had to ask myself the difficult questions in order to move forwards. Similarly, when we are in a difficult situation, when it looks dark and hopeless, we need to ask ourselves, “Does this define? Is this my identity? Is this who I am, or am I more than the challenges that I am facing?” We need to ask ourselves if our circumstances define us and if our situation defines who we are. This is what I asked myself, “Am I loser? Am I unemployed? Or, Am I someone who lost his job, but can now find a way to move forwards, towards a better future?” So, the question is, where does Self Courage come from? How do you find it? I believe that it comes from having a good relationship with yourself.”
Earlier in the day, I had delivered a talk to a group of Foundation students who are part of a book club and their teacher, Joanne Smith, had invited me to inspire them to read more and to write their own books.
Joanne is one of the most dedicated teachers that I have ever met. She is completely committed to her students and is extremely hard working. When I first started working for the college I didn't know anyone, however, one of the names that I always heard whenever I talked with someone was Joanne's. From staff members in other departments to the ladies at the reception desk, they always talked about Joanne as one of the best teachers at the college. I have witnessed Joanne's dedication, commitment and hard work first hand when I interacted with her Foundation students on a number of occasions. The thing that I love most about Joanne is that she is always smiling, positive and caring. She truly embraces a Networker's mindset as she always comes form a place of giving and service. I am truly grateful that I have the honour to work with, and sit next to Joanne in the staffroom.
During my talk, one of the things that I specifically touched upon was to get the students to evaluate the relationship that they have with themselves.
“Most of the time we are too busy beating ourselves up and constantly judging ourselves. ‘I am not good enough! I will never achieve this! I will never get there! I am not attractive! I am not clever! No one likes me! No one cares about me! Everyone is judging me! I am so nervous! I am so useless!’ If we have such a negative relationship with ourselves, then how can we expect to have happy, healthy, deep, meaningful relationships with others? If we are too busy thinking about ourselves all the time, how can we possibly show up and be there for others? We need to make sure that we stop beating ourselves up all the time and stop talking so negatively to ourselves”, I explained to the students.
Later, one of the students stopped me in the corridor to say that she really enjoyed my talk. I asked her what was her biggest take away, and she replied that it was not to beat herself up because she does it all the time.
I asked Joanne the same question and she said that her biggest take away was also to stop the negative self-talk and work towards improving the relationship that she has with herself..
I believe that your exterior world is a reflection of your interior world.
The relationships that we have with others are a reflection of the relationship that we have with yourself.
In our minds, we are always alone with ourselves. If we can’t live with ourselves, then it’s nearly impossible that we would ever be able to find harmony with others.
The world reflects the conversation that we have with ourselves inside our own minds.
Last week, I challenged you to a ‘7 Day Human Connection Challenge’. This week I am challenging you to a ‘7 Day Self Courage Challenge.’
Every day, for the next 7 days, I want you to evaluate the relationship that you have with yourself by asking yourself the following question before going to sleep:
What are the 5 thoughts that I spent the most time with today?
Journal, take notes or keep a diary. After these 7 days, you will have a clear picture of what your inner world looks like.
Then, you can evaluate and take control of your inner world by asking yourself:
Does this define?
Is this my identity?
Is this who I am or am I more than the thoughts that are controlling me?
The most important conversation of your life is the conversation that you have with yourself, and it will define the most important relationship of your life, which is the relationship that you have with yourself.