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The Heart of Courage: Embracing Change and the Power of Doing the Thing

Jun 28, 2023

Storytime with Ruby

It could be better.

My heart's racing.

I step into the bathroom and close the door behind me. I put my hands on the counter to stabilize myself so I don't buckle to the floor.


Resolve washes over me like a tidal wave.

Oh, shit. Shit shit shit shit shit.

I look up into my own eyes in the mirror.

You can do this. You're going to be alright. This is what you want, and you can do it. You're the only one who can do it. It'll be better on the other side. You've just got to do it.

I close my eyes and take a big, full breath.

One step at a time.

Eyes open, I stand a little straighter. I see myself tall in the mirror, and I begin to nod to myself.

YES. Yes, I can. I can do hard things. I can do this. It'll be better on the other side.

I nod to myself as I reach for the doorknob and re-enter the world, heart still racing wildly, knowing that things will never be the same.



This is what it feels like every time I do something that takes a lot of courage. Or even a little tiny bit of courage.

It's thrilling and terrifying all at once, and I know it's the "right" thing because there's both a magnetic pull in that direction and an inner voice saying "OHHH MYYY GOSHHHH WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?"


I remember when I first learned, via Brené Brown, that the root of the word courage is "cor" which means heart.

It takes a lot of heart to do the thing, whatever that thing may be at the moment. I find that for myself I have to care about what's on the other side or it's not worth it. I don't know about you, but I try to avoid doing risky things unless there's a perceived payout that makes it worthwhile.

In fact, I like to make a cost / payoff list - What happens if I say YES? What about if I say no?

I can usually make a laundry list of reasons why I shouldn't do it. The payoff is... Things get to stay the same. It's easier. I'm "safe." Protected. Under control.

But it's the cost column under 'What happens if I say no?' that carries the most weight.

Most often the costs are something like... Connection, autonomy, true belonging, the life I dream of living. Ouch.

For example, when I found myself feeling staled and stalled in a long-term relationship, but staying was the easier thing to do, I considered the cost of staying...

If I stayed I would never get to live somewhere brand new because he wasn't open to moving anywhere; I would miss out on having a relationship that felt spontaneous because he liked to go to the same places every week; and I would keep spending all of my time enthralled in my work to try to fill the gaps where my emotional needs weren't being met at home because that seemed to be a perfectly fine band-aid for the situation and I kept telling myself it was ok (even though it was really exhausting).

But when I laid it out for myself like that - facts in my own face - the little voice in my heart which had been a faint, soft whisper up until this point, shouted "RUBY, DAMN IT - IT COULD BE BETTER"


I'll spare you the details of the breakup for today, but long-story-short I met my husband only two months later, and I knew immediately that this was the reason I had to listen to my inner "it could be better".


It's much better now.

That's the thing about courage. It gets us to the better if we let it.

(and incredibly on the other side it's actually better for everyone else, too)

But we have to be listening; we have to connect to the heart.

Always back to the heart.


Courage comes from the heart, and it feels like that in real time, dontcha think?

Like a rustling sensation in the heart-space and a momentum from deep within that sorta pushes us forward when something that takes courage comes up.

It's both thrilling and terrifying to do the thing that takes courage because it's something you care about so much that it's worth the risk of it being hard or even not working out how you plan.


My favorite quote says, "Do the thing, and you'll have the power."

It's a potent reminder for me to trust my heart. That when I know, I know. And the better is just waiting for me on the other side. All I have to do is say yes and lean in.


What's THE THING for you today?

It might seem silly or simple or small, but if it feels like courage for you, then it counts.

It can be better.
It WILL be better on the other side.

You've got this.

And remember, in the same way that it's healthy for your heart to get some cardio in order to build strength and stay strong to support your body, it's necessary to do courageous things in order to strengthen your courage muscles and support yourself to step into the person and life you want to create for yourself.


See you on the other side,


PS You've heard us say "We do it together as a reminder that we're not alone." It's important to note that the breakup I mentioned would've been ridiculously harder to follow through with if Kate hadn't been there for me. It's good that we all have each other. You don't have to do the hard thing alone. In fact, it's our job to support you in that. Book a discovery call with us today and get the support that you need to do the thing through Self Study Coaching.

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