5 Things To Inspire Courage In Others Today
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This week I wanted to cover what I think is so important in our quest to be more courageous. It’s mostly, actually, about focusing on others. How’s that? The difficulty of a personal transformation is factually that when focusing on simply being better people by willing it to existence, you get left with the silence of disappointment. Life does not work like that and often indirect approaches is the antidote to updating our value system.
Here are 5 things that have the synergy of influencing courage to somebody else while giving you the satisfaction of the feel goods.
1. Acknowledge Somebody’s Past Struggles With Hope
The average person is carrying a giant weight on their shoulders from their past. If the invisible weight isn’t on their shoulders they are sometimes dragged behind by a 10km length chain. They’ve forgotten that they even have anything on until after enough turns and twists in life, the chain loses slack and yanks them to the ground by a weight not fully detached yet. These weights of anxiety, bullying, shame or hurt are often carried through into adulthood, becoming twice the burden they originally were. They either need breaking off or retracing to where the chain is bent and twisted around other problems accumulated along the way. The thing that releases people of their weights is often simply acknowledgement and love. This affords a great deal of relief to somebody who does not know what is yolked to them or why.
This morning, my wife championed this method on me – noticing I was filled with anxiety about an event coming up and the pressure I had put myself under. I didn’t know I needed this acknowledgment until I was pretty soon shedding tears over the truth of what she saw. Did she remove the weight from me entirely? No. But It got me realizing a little more on how I should consider shedding this dead weight prior to this event happening so I can instead be more of myself in front of people. She saw a hurt I couldn’t articulate and exposed it to the daylight. Amazing in its simplicity but the courage this will compound over my life with each check in with her is the real amazement. Do this in any kind of relationship where you can see somebody struggling during the negative anticipation of something.
2. Remind Them of Times They Overcame a Similar Situation
As mentioned before, acknowledging somebody’s past hurts and struggles with love, is very important.
You cannot start a good fire by throwing damp wood on it. Instead, to help inspire that new flame of courage in somebody, it is also vital that you remind the person of previous successes strengths. Knowing that you have value and worth is a human need.
This is like turning over the wood, of what look likes like an extinguished camp fire, only to find in actual fact there is plenty of heat in the coals below the ash.
The person you are speaking with might believe, they have to go back to rubbing two sticks together, starting all over again – but this is usually not necessary.
People simply need reminding that a fire already exists – I too am somebody who focuses on my failures and shortcomings more than my triumphs but I am learning to take seriously the encouragement that I receive from other people as if they supplied me with fresh wood to put on my fire.
The heat may not be a roaring blaze but it’s enough to get warm again – A stoke at some hot coals here and a poke over on that log there, is all that’s really needed in most cases.
My disclaimer on this however is that this kind of help from others cannot be controlled by you, if you are the person in need. A lot of things these days you can get ordered with same day delivery but this won’t translate over into somebody come along side to assist you in your moment of need.
Sometimes we must first BE that person to lead the charge in edifying one another. We cannot wait around for life to give us a break – we are warned about such things in the Bible. Complacency and laziness will come like a thief in the night. So, do BE that person. I think the corny way of saying it is “BE THE CHANGE” or something like that.
3. Lead a Life of Courage
A real simple one but leading a courageous life is so important in this world today. There is never a time where there is not some level of fear, uncertainty and ill-promise being shoved in our faces by the media – So after a while we look all around us to discover people that exude fearlessness, boldness, bravery, strength of character and friendship. Do you need to be part of the Red Bull skydiving team or seek taboo thrills to appear courageous? No! You’d be surprised when people take notice of you if you are regularly somebody who tests the boundaries of your abilities, learns new things and chases after a full life with cheer. A person who does this is magnetic and downright inspiring.
This gets me thinking of the colonial war-time period, where it was all about wearing brightly coloured uniforms such as the fabled British “Red Coats”, that had a marching band and flag bearers, waving banners and snaring drums to maintain morale to inspire the troops on the battlefield. This seemed so trivial and stupid to me for a long time after discovering this. The sad truth is they were defenseless and vulnerable – essentially assigned to death wish. Except one thing I realized, and I kind of get it now. They were there for the greater good of the regiments success. You could be exhausted, outnumbered, outgunned and surrounded. However, when you are reminded of why and what you are fighting for by hearing the music proudly being played and seeing the flag waved high – you would be inspired with vigor, full of strength, resolve and hope.
Win the battle in your head and you can win just about any battle in real life. Be like the snapping drum or the proud flying flag that gets the best out of people, though the war around rages.
4. Be a Friend
Another simple one but underrated. Don’t just be mere acquaintances but look to develop something more by first being an awesome friend to somebody. Obviously be wise in who you invest this effort with but there is little in the world as rewarding as the gratitude from seeing a friend thrive partly because of your role of positive influence. Paul from the Bible urges and insists that competitiveness in love and honour towards one another is to be encouraged, not shunned:
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Romans 12:10 ESV
If you are consistently being like this around your friends, you are head and shoulders above what most of the world is choosing to do.
5. Rebuild What Has Been Torn Down
When I think back to the times I’ve been corrected, disciplined or straight up given a bollocking I remember them all for different reasons. Some were for no good reason at all where there was a vendetta against me because I was different to them. Other times, reluctant to admit, I needed the rod to my back because the compounding issue of my attitude or lack of progress in some other area was problematic for an entire team. Whatever the case whether it be in a formal meeting or a friend pulling me aside – the most memorable of these will be the times somebody built me back up by encouraging me by the end of it all. They genuinely wanted me to become something better so I could be prouder of myself. Don’t be a tyrant looking to lower others so it elevates your status. We all like to think we aren’t doing this, but beware of how this sneaks in. Such a rare person it is, that knows how to surgically tear down part of somebody but remain in tact what must stay. Don’t use a jackhammer when a scalpel will do. If we all took the responsibility to consciously build up just one or two people in our communities the world would be growing in stature and quality by that alone.
I hope after this you begin to see how right now, there is somebody you could influence with the courage you use, today. There is nobody who owns courage except God, and it is all for rent at the cost of humility and risk. What can you do right now to build somebody up? What can you accomplish this week that would inspire somebody else to take action? What can you do now to deepen a friendship?
I leave these questions in your hands.