Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

 

The past couple of weeks have been a trying time for me. If you have been following my Facebook “Lives” you have heard me talking about how I attempted to go-back to grad school again and how it was a struggle. If you missed the videos, you can find them on @peacefullivingwellness

I was initially excited to go back to school. I was pursuing a degree in counseling, and as a coach I thought it would enhance my coaching skills.  I started with a class called Theories and Practices and really enjoyed the subject matter.

The problem for me was the professor.

I was having a hard time following his lectures and got off on the wrong foot with him because I was not interacting in class the way he wanted the students to interact.  And honestly it just spiraled down from there…

Long-story-short, the class ended-up being a complete crash and burn for me. I ended up having to withdraw from the class because my midterm grade was so bad that I could not possibly, mathematically ended-up with a satisfactory grade in the class overall.  

What does this have to do with courage???  

The class was nerve wracking for me. I tried to mindfully communicate with the professor to work out our differences. That only ended-up with him being manipulative with power towards me. I tried to ask for help. He told me that I needed to ask the other students in the class – what he called our “buddy list.” And even though it got to the point where my hands would shake when I tried to talk to him, I still tried!

When I ended-up withdrawing from the class I was feeling a combination of severe frustration, an utter lack of self-efficacy and my old friend failure.  

I have struggled with what I call “failure demons” since I was a teen.  And sure enough, they reared their ugly heads! How could I have done so poorly on my midterm? Why was my mindful communication not effective in encouraging this man to help me? What was wrong with me, that I could no longer get straight “A”s as I had in my Ph.D. program? This was just an M.A. program after all???

This is where quiet courage came in.  Years ago, before I had my Peaceful Living techniques, I would have let these questions plague me into a deep, anxiety-ridden depression.  But, not now! Now, I am able to breath into a sense of strength and courage. Here is what I found through that breath:

  • I am capable of learning and understanding. When the teaching is poor, it undermines my capability.
  • I am capable of mindful communication. When the person with whom I’m in conversation is not willing to listen and communicate with openness, it doesn’t matter how “I” communicate, he will not be willing to hear with empathy and compassion.
  • I am successful and very good at what I do! I can look at feedback from my clients, AND how they are living happy peaceful lives, and know that I do not need yet another degree (I have 3) to be an effective and capable coach.

 

I also gathered my friend tribe around me! With the love and support of these beautiful women I was able to fight off the failure demons and to realize the courage to say, “in this instance, it is okay to quit.”  

I spent many years in my doctoral program exhausting myself emotionally and physically trying to prove that I could get through it. I thought that I had to “ROAR with courage” and practically kill myself or else I would be a failure!

Now I find that quiet courage is the courage to say, “no, I don’t have to do this,” to say, “it’s okay to quit and in this case try something different tomorrow.”

 

How do you use quiet courage in your life?  

Do you need more of it?

Or, do you prefer to Roar?

 

As always, I’m grateful for your comments and shares!

 

Love & Light,

 

Jen

 

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