What would the courageous version of you do?
Earlier this week I was speaking to a woman who had just gone through an acrimonious divorce. She shared how she felt completely bruised and battered by the process of ending her 8 year marriage and that while she knew that the future was her own making, she felt really unclear about what she was going to make of it. Her self-esteem had taken a beating. Needless to say, she wasn’t feeling very powerful. I suggested that she think about the character traits that would describe the kind of woman she would like to be – her “ideal self” – in the face of the challenges she was dealing with. I also suggested that she write down how that ‘ideal self’ would see the world and in particular, how that ‘ideal self’ would step forward to rise to her current challenges.
The next day, she emailed me to tell me what a powerful and empowering exercise it was. She shared that she’d written down how she’d like to be more courageous, more confident, more assertive, passionate and self-assured. If she was being all those things she knew that she’d focus in on what she cared about the most, she’d stop getting upset by the things her now ex-husband had said, she’d get herself a bright new handbag that she’d carry to bright new places, that she would call up some old friends and do some of the things she’d been wanting to do for years but never gotten around to. She’d also quit worrying about what everyone thought of her.
Which begs the question — if you were being the courageous version of yourself, the “you” that didn’t give in to self-doubt and cynicism, resignation or procrastination and that held fast to the belief that you could change those aspects of your life that you didn’t like, what would you do?