Additude

Additude is everything. It is our additude or mindset that makes a difference in outcomes. We may have an obstacle that we can’t imagine how we will ever overcome. Or, maybe we have a goal of something we’ve always wanted to do but struggle to believe we can actually do it. The first obstacle or step that needs to be examined is our mindset. If we ask ourselves, “How am I thinking about this obstacle or goal?” or, “What am I telling myself about this?” we will discover our mindset. A negative mindset will get in our way every time, guaranteed.

I recently had the goal of running a 1/2 marathon. On my practice runs, I would feel pain in my hip and question why I ever wanted to do this. I would get mad and resort to walking. My husband jokingly referred to me as an “angry runner.” I was! I wasn’t having fun, but I didn’t let go of my goal to run a 1/2 marathon. I wanted to challenge myself to do something I wasn’t sure I could do. Yet, that was my problem. I didn’t at the heart of it believe I could do it and when I felt the pain, I took that as a sign that I couldn’t. I would give in to the pain in those moments and let it get the best of me and I’d resort to walking. Rather than learn to tolerate the pain and discomfort, I gave into it. However, when the 1/2 marathon came along. I made up my mind I was going to run the whole way. I was determined not to walk. And guess what? I ran the whole 13.1 miles (and without any cussing or walking). I think I even surprised my husband!

There were many lessons in this experience for me but the big take away was to examine my attitude in facing any obstacle or challenge. Another lesson for me was the importance of learning to tolerate discomfort and pain. There are many things in life that can be uncomfortable or even painful. If we let the discomfort or pain deter us we might never discover what is on the other side of that discomfort or pain. If we can learn tolerance, we just might discover what is possible and what we are truly capable of.

Courage

Courage is taking that first step.  Whether it's going to a counselor for the first time, starting a new school or changing jobs, It is natural to  feel anxious anytime we try something new or different.  This is a normal response to the unknown. However, in order to learn and grow in new ways we have to step outside of our comfort zone.  This may create unease at first, but in time we will settle into this new space as it becomes more familiar.  

John Wayne said, "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway."  In other words, courage is facing our fear and not letting it have power over us.  For some, facing fear can create such anxiety that we become argumentative, combative, avoidant, shut-down or panicky.  This is when fear is getting the best of us.  There are skills that we can learn to manage such anxiety, such as mindfulness, positive self-talk, and other coping skills.  In practicing and using these skills, we become equipped to face our fear and manage the anxiety that arises.  Often it is in the doing and getting through it, that we gain confidence.  We  learn that whatever we were afraid of was not as scary or as bad as we made it out to be in our mind.

Courage grows with us.  As we face our fears, we grow more courageous to try even more things or to face the next new or different situation. All it takes is that first step, a deep breath, telling ourselves, "I can do this," and a little bit of courage....