Tell me darling, how’s the New Year’s Focus feeling?  When you went through the process of digging in and arthur_surnoff_sailingidentifying what you want in 2013, I’m betting that some of those dreams and desires were gargantuan.  But here we are, just a few weeks into the new year, and you’re already questioning yourself.

May I make a guess what happened?  Your Inner Critic appeared suddenly appeared.   She said things like, “get in touch with reality,” and “that’s not a practical idea,” or “that isn’t what you should do,” or maybe even “that’s too big to accomplish this year, so why bother?”

And, because you’re human, you listened.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret: your inner critic is simply trying to trying to keep you safe, because change – even good change – is scary.

So what happens when our Inner Critic speaks out?  We self-sabotage and then get into a cycle of beating ourselves up for not following our dreams.

We want to write a book, but we avoid any kind of writing practice because we fear that it might be stupid.  We want to be in a part of a loving partnership, but we’re afraid of getting hurt so we avoid dating or meeting new folks.  We hate our job, but we tell ourselves that we’re too old to “start over”.  We want to be desirable to our lover, but we don’t wear that sexy dress for a night on the town because we’re terrified of what other people might think.

Sweet darling, we become paralyzed. 

What we are doing isn’t taking precautions. What we are really doing is allowing our fears to block our steps toward the lives our hearts know we are meant to live. We are allowing societal beliefs to limit our potential. We are strangling our own creativity and joy.

We let our fear convince us that we’re undeserving of happiness or success.

Let me be frank: I know that it can be terrifying to make changes.  But, honey, don’t settle in life because you’re afraid. You deserve to live a bigger, bolder life.

Now, I’m a realist and know that you can’t make your fears vanish with the wave of a magic wand. I know from experience, though, that you CAN step through the fear and into courage.

In fact, we can do it together by creating a Courage Practice.  Together, we will make 2013 the year we boldly grab courage by the horns and fall more deeply in love with our lives and who we are.

How do we do this?

You begin by taking one courageous baby step after another.

By tackling your fear in increments. By creating successes for yourself.  By making a commitment to yourself that you will step up in your life.

You see, just like lifting weights results in better muscle tone, and a gratitude practice reminds us of what a beautiful life we’re living, creating a courage practice sets a foundation for change and growth.

Just as each day of exercise makes your body stronger, so, too, will you become stronger in spirit with each act of courage. Building your courage muscle takes time, but with each step, you’ll gain confidence and will discover all the good in your life.

You’ll embrace who you really are and fall more deeply in love with yourself.

So, here’s the deal, kitten: I created a Courage Agreement to begin our 2013 Courage Practice.

First of all, download this free Courage Agreement.  (There’s even a list of 100 ideas for practicing courage as a part of the download!)

Next, you decide upon 10 acts of courage you will take in the next 30 Days.

Maybe you need to break down one of your big dreams into a single steps.  Maybe you need to release some clutter from your life.  Courage will look different to everyone. 

For some people, giving a presentation to 100 people is easy;  to others, it’s courageous.  I’m not asking you to Sky Dive (unless it’s on your bucket list!).  I’m asking you to make your world bigger by stepping into your courage.

Then, babycakes, we’ll lean into the pure delight of what our soul is longing for us to do.  We’ll take some tiny steps – and some bold ones. You will be reassuring your Inner Critic that it’s ok to challenge your fears. 

You’ll show her by taking action!

I promise you that when you do this, it makes tackling the bigger fears feel more doable.  You see, darling, courage, at its core, is about strengthening your relationship with yourself. Which is just the beginning of making you an unstoppable force of dreams and desires.

When you’ve completed your Courage Agreement, you’ll shout it from the rooftops, share it with close friends, or send me a note.

Then, darling,  you’ll download a fresh copy of the Courage Agreement and continue your Courage Practice by choosing another ten courageous acts to take next month.

Darling, you deserve to make your dreams a reality. You deserve to fall in love with your life.  All you need is love, faith, and a splash of courage.

What about YOU?  Are you ready to begin a Courage Practice?  Share at least ONE act of courage you’re willing to take in the next 30 days….

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