WHY HELLO, INNER BADASS...
Getting in touch with your bold warrior self
At no point in my life have I ever known so many people dealing with sudden unemployment. The economic impact of this pandemic has hit close to home — three of our five adult daughters are without a paycheck as of this month, and I have many friends who’ve been laid off or furloughed with no promise of a return to their job.
Add to that the impact on entrepreneurs and small businesses — I can speak from experience here, though I’m more fortunate than many who can’t work virtually — and the stress of employed people wondering if their own days are numbered, plus of course the many, many people dealing with jobs that have them feeling physically vulnerable, and well, no wonder so many of us are struggling to maintain equilibrium.
And then there are the human losses, which are unspeakably tragic.
It’s a recipe for high anxiety times.
You may be someone who considers herself a resilient, tough cookie. Fine. But recognize that even tough cookies have times when they feel like they’re going to crumble.
Damn, how do you keep from self-medicating with afternoons of tequila and Roomba-riding-cat videos?
When life seems to be sucking at a whole new level, it’s time to summon your Inner Badass. And yes, she’s in there. I promise you she is.
Of course that begs the question of how to call forth courage when you’re feeling low, like some diminished, low-wattage version of yourself.
BEFORE YOU DO ANY SUMMONING OF YOUR PERSONAL MOXIE, THOUGH, IT HELPS TO KNOW A COUPLE IMPORTANT THINGS ABOUT COURAGE:
For one thing, did you know that research shows our brains🧠 have a negative bias built in?
Kinda like a car that tends to pull to one side, your brain (all our brains) will veer toward the negative, and the resulting fear tends to exaggerate how big and problematic things actually are.
When you know about the car’s innate tendency to veer, you can compensate and keep yourself from careening into that ditch.
Similarly, when you know your brain will likely go all worst-case-scenario on you when faced with uncertainty, you can tap the brakes on that dark, slippery road and steer your thinking toward a more objective assessment.
Also: The best first thing to do with fear is to acknowledge it with compassion. 🧡
Um, hello? Yes, we’re talking about having compassion for yourself and your own fear, not just all those other people in your life you care about. You’re a human being in the midst of a weird time in this world, you’re going to have feelings about it.
SO HOW DO YOU ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR OWN FEAR WITH COMPASSION? THERE ARE LOTS OF WAYS — HERE ARE A FEW STARTER IDEAS:
You could journal about it, which is a great thing to try — you’ll find yourself expressing things you didn’t know were in there. (It’s almost as if your Soul were saying, “Why didn’t I tell you all this before? Because you didn’t ask…!”)
You could also share it with someone. Speaking about your experience can be a very effective way of having it evaporate a little…or even completely.
Another way to acknowledge the fear with compassion is to practice some Radical Self Reverence. Which might look like meditating. Or doing some soulful dancing and seeing what your body wants to tell you. Or pouring yourself a nice hot scented bath, lighting a couple candles, and having a good cry. Give yourself some space and grace and kindness.
And finally, there’s one more important aspect of “courage energy” to be aware of:
It’s a bit of a wobbly, fall-down-a-lot place to be.
While courage energy is the bridge to the higher levels, it’s easy to dip back down into fear and frustration, or even hopelessness. There’s hope, yet there’s also a lot of newborn-giraffe-trying-to-stand-up instability. That’s normal. It’s to be expected. So now you don’t have to be blindsided by it and think that a stumble or setback means you’re headed in the wrong direction, it’s just a predictable part of the journey.
Have you ever seen this video about Arthur, the disabled Gulf War vet who was told by his doctors for 15 years that he’d never, ever be able to walk on his own again? He was 47 and had basically given up when a yoga instructor took on being his champion.
Even if you have seen this video before, I suggest you watch it again now through the lens of what we’re talking about here, which is all about NOT GIVING UP TOO EASILY. What’s your equivalent of Arthur’s physical challenges? What’s the thing that feels immoveable and unlikely to shift for you? Where do you feel stuck and uncertain your actions will make any difference?
Here’s the thing: In courage, you move to a higher level when you are willing to get yourself up one more time and try again.
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Okay, so that’s the quick and dirty on courage — the useful intel that’s going to help you on your way.
Now that you’ve got the inside scoop on this thing, we’re going to talk about how to dial your own Inner Badass hotline and call up a big dose of that courage within you. Which could very well be harder than usual for you to do right now.
Q: WHY MIGHT IT BE HARDER THAN USUAL FOR YOU TO GET IT UP FOR ANYTHING?
A: WHEN PEOPLE DON’T FEEL SAFE, IT’S REALLY, REALLY HARD TO GET UNSTUCK AND MAKE A MOVE.
TRY THIS SIMPLE BUT POWERFUL EXERCISE:
“My Personal Moxie Inventory”
To summon that Inner Badass, your bold warrior self, you’ll want to get present to who you ARE, versus how you feel right now in the face of whatever is going on.
You have done hard things. You have dealt with adversity. You have emerged from the poop pile 💩 smelling like a rose 🌹 on more than one occasion.
Here’s a simple exercise that will remind you who you are and what you’re made of!
You can spend as little as 5 minutes on this and get value, though it’s something I recommend you explore more fully and even revisit to get the biggest bravery bang for your buck.
Let’s do this thang. To start, get a piece of paper and draw two vertical lines to create three columns:
1. At the top of the first column, write this heading: HARD THINGS I’VE DONE/DEALT WITH.
THEN MAKE A LIST OF SITUATIONS YOU’VE DEALT WITH THAT WERE REALLY CHALLENGING OR DIFFICULT OR CONFRONTING.
They might have been circumstances that life plopped in your lap unexpectedly, or they may have been things you were committed to that were tough to follow through on, or something you failed at. It doesn’t matter whether you initiated them or they “happened to you,” the point is to list things you’ve done and/or handled that were hard.
Everyone’s life has adversity in it, tough things to be faced — a relationship breakup, job loss, a financial setback, a tough conversation, a medical crisis, a legal conflict, a misunderstanding with a friend, what have you.
List at least 5 or 6 of those incidents from that movie called your life.
2. At the top of the second column, write this heading: THE GIFT.
FOR EACH ONE OF THE SITUATIONS YOU LISTED IN THE FIRST COLUMN, YOU’RE GOING TO WRITE DOWN WHAT THE GIFT OF THAT PARTICULAR SITUATION WAS.
This part might really take some looking — particularly when it comes to some incident or situation that was extremely painful or difficult. However, in training ourselves to acknowledge that…and then alsolook for the gift, we are reframing habitual stories and creating new neural pathways.
Challenge yourself to find the silver lining in each one.
The gift of not getting that job I wanted is that I wound up starting my own business instead.
The gift of that tough breakup was a new level of clarity about my own needs.
The gift of an awkward, uncomfortable conversation my husband and I had a while back is that we learned new things about each other’s tender, vulernable spots and got closer than ever.
Actively looking for and naming that silver lining for even the most bleak-seeming situations, not only compensates for the brain’s negative bias, it goes beyond that to evoke the energy in the higher bandwidths where you feel and do your best.
3. And at the top of the third column: WHAT I NOW KNOW ABOUT MYSELF.
WITH EACH ONE OF THESE EXPERIENCES, NOT ONLY WAS THERE A GIFT YOU COULD IDENTIFY, THERE WAS ALSO SOMETHING YOU CAN SAY YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOU.
FOR EACH INCIDENT OR SITUATION, WRITE DOWN AN “AHA” ABOUT THAT COMPLEX, MULTI-FACETED, BEAUTIFUL CREATURE YOU ARE. WHAT CAN YOU POINT TO AS A STRENGTH OR TALENT OR IMPORTANT INSIGHT?
Your entries in this third column might look something like these:
I am resourceful and creative.
I am strong enough to honor my non-negotiable needs and boundaries.
I now know I can be really vulnerable with my beloved…and not die.
Once you’ve spent some time looking back at major challenges in your life and acknowledging how your brave self rose up and grew out of each of those episodes, you’ll be present to the strong, resilient, courageous and wise inner being you have on your side.
💥HELLO, INNER BADASS! 💥
Now that you’ve summoned your Inner Badass and are ready to get yourself in motion, there are three very important ingredients to your success.
They’re not complicated — but don’t let the simplicity fool you, they’re powerful as all get-out.
Moxie’s Three B’s of Bravery:
Whether you’re looking to take some specific action or are wanting to practice new positive habits, it makes a HUGE difference to have an accountability buddy where you can help each other stay on track. Some people work with a coach or mentor who brings some accountability to the working relationship. Others pair up with someone in a community or group of some kind. Or you can just request the support of a friend and offer the same in kind. Find what works for you.
Courage requires putting one foot after the other — and as mentioned earlier, typically involves a fair amount of false starts and bumps. Rather than try to map out and figure out every little detail, tell yourself you’re just going to take one teensy baby step in the right direction. And then when you’ve done that, you’ll take another. And remember, when you fall on your butt, make like a baby and just get back up again and take some more steps. You and I fell down plenty of times when we were learning to walk — we just didn’t have all the internal commentary going on about it. It’s time to take on baby steps again like the champ you were when you were a little shortie.
exclamation INFORMAL•US used to express joy, especially over a well-played or victorious moment in sports.
"he could belt out an exuberant “Booyah!”"
Courage needs cheerleading! You know those baby steps you’re taking? You definitely want to acknowledge and celebrate every single one. Decide in advance what fun or special thing you’re going to do for yourself once you make that first phone call or fill out the application or send out the email with a brave request or do your first Facebook Live to share your expertise with people. You could even share your plans for a reward with your accountability buddy and encourage them to do the same.
WHEN WE ACKNOWLEDGE EACH BIT OF PROGRESS, WE BUILD OUR MOTIVATION TO STAY THE COURSE. WATER AND FEED YOUR SOUL’S FLOWER GARDEN REGULARLY TO HELP IT GROW AND BLOOM! 🌺
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Want to know something else very cool about courage?
The more you are being a contributor in some way, the easier it is to maintain that courage and then elevate beyond that energy into the high-flyin’ energy bandwidths of engagement, innovation and synchronicity.
What’s more, the very fact that you’ve summoned your Inner Badass makes you a contribution to people around you — more than you know. Which means if you share your journey with others, you’re likely fueling someone else’s courage as well:
“Courage is contagious. Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver.”Brené Brown
What have you learned about yourself and your ability to summon YOUR Inner Badass? What have you had to summon courage for lately — big or small? What do you now need to call up the Inner Badass to weigh in on??
You never know what your sharing below might contribute to someone else who may be feeling too shy or too stuck to even leave a comment right now.
Also: If you’re interested in having a guide on your own journey, I’d be honored to discuss that with you.
With love and moxie,
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