47. Developing the Courage to Cultivate Originality

In the last lesson, you learned about listening to your inner voice. Your inner voice is honest, and reveals the real you to yourself. In living authentically, you want to encourage bringing out the real you, especially the parts about you that are unique

Having the courage to be original really means being brave enough to be yourself. Certainly this can seem daunting and frightening, because to really live as you are means opening yourself up to the judgement of others. Usually, we shield ourselves from others to some extent.

Each of us is uniquely valuable. So why hide the truth of who you are?

Imagine what it might be like if everyone truly knew you, inside and out, what wonderful things you’re capable of, and how fully human you are, just like them.

There can be a great, false comfort in conforming and keeping your head down. But you sacrifice ever knowing your true potential. And you risk boredom; when the path is fully laid out for you, there's no adventure.

Living with originality takes some courage for sure, but the rewards far outweigh the penalties of hiding your inner self.

Being original has a lot of perks:

1.   Greater fulfilment and personal satisfaction. Life has more meaning when it's 100% authentic.

2.   Increased charisma. People will find you more interesting and pay attention to you more. Authentic people are attractive to pretty much everyone.

3.   Greater ability to take risks and be creative. Your life will have more depth and you'll experience more success in every part of your life.

4.   Opportunity. By being original, you stand a chance to change the world. And regardless of what you do, you'll surely be remembered. Only unique people do great things. Average people do average things.

Try these ideas to cultivate your originality:

1.   Be aware of who you are inside. This may take some thought, especially if you spend all day working and all night watching television. Regularly spend quiet time with yourself. Contemplate who you are and what you stand for.

2.   Express yourself freely. Give your opinions without judging yourself, especially when you're asked for them. Let people know what you think without being unkind. Allow yourself to have your own style, whether it's your taste in music, your profession, or just what to wear today.

3.   Avoid worrying about others' opinions. The big secret is that they're probably worried about what you think of them. Chances are good that nobody is spending much time thinking about any of us. And there's nothing more attractive to others than someone that moves through the world confidently and without apology.

○     Just be yourself and let the chips fall where they may. You'll be surprised how easy it is once you try it. It's analogous to being afraid of the dark; there's simply nothing there to fear.

Consider famous people like Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and others. Do you know of another person who is anything like any of them? They’re originals.

People who conform can never really stand out unless they're in extraordinary circumstances. Maybe you're not the next Albert Einstein, but how will you ever know if you decide to continue selling shoes all your life even though you want to quit and study physics?

Being original is about having the courage to be yourself and letting the world know who you are. This isn't always easy, but it's necessary to truly experience the depth of your life.

Have the courage to be unique! You'll live in an intensely fulfilled way and you'll be remembered long after you're gone.

The next lesson finishes your journey toward authenticity with helping you to create a compelling future based on your unique, true self and what’s important to you.

Here’s what you need to do today:

Reflect on how you are unique. How can you bring out your unique qualities? In your journal, write down your plans for bringing out this part of you.

Living Courageously

You, me, all of us - we all have courage within. This trait can be simply defined as the ability to overcome adversity. But do you make the most of your courage? 

Read on to discover how you can use this gift to lead a happier, more fulfilled life.

See Things as They Really Are 

Those who are courageous are not afraid to face their demons. They're seldom in a state of denial. They know their good side and their dark side, since each of us has both. 

Are you willing to acknowledge your faults? Or do you make excuses for your behavior and blame others or circumstances?

To help see yourself clearly, try sitting quietly in a place you won't be disturbed and write in your journal. Do this every day, or at least once a week. 

Write about your feelings during the day and what triggered them. How did you react? Where did these reactions come from - from your compassionate, loving side or from your dark side?

Even though it takes courage to examine your innermost thoughts, once you know and accept all your qualities, you can strive to enhance your strengths and lessen those qualities you find less desirable. 

Follow Your Ideals

Living courageously involves sticking to your values and ideals. Here are a few instances of courage:

* Be honest even when it means losing something.

* Let go of those you love so they can develop courage and self-reliance.

* Choose your career based on how much you'll enjoy it and not how much money you'll make.  

* Do what you believe to be right regardless of what others think.

Practice your courage in your daily life by demonstrating your values in both big and small things. When you make a mistake, own up to it and do what you can to make amends. Not only will you get used to showing your courage, but others will also grow in respect for you.

Try, Try Again

All of us have faced failure. The important thing is how we deal with it. 

Can you get up and continue on the journey? Doing so takes courage, but once you've risen up after a fall, the next time you'll find that it's easier to get back up. Each time, you feel a little braver than the last time. You learn from both your errors and from the action of continuing on in spite of them. 

Aim high and commit yourself to your goals. Then, no matter how often you fall, your courage will lift you up, help you find a way to overcome your challenge, and enable you to continue on until you find success and accomplish your goals!

Experience Something New

Avoid letting your age or circumstances stop you from experiencing life to the fullest and trying new things. Whatever your dreams may be, go for them - whether that means sampling a new dish in another country or learning a skill like swimming or baking.

Each time you try something new, no matter how small, you step outside your comfort zone and build your courage. 

It could be a major change in lifestyle, whether voluntary or compulsory. For instance, you might want to try becoming vegetarian. Or circumstances may require you to move to another city or neighborhood. Whatever the change, you can deal with it if you are courageous.  

Just dig deep within and you'll find that you already possess courage. It's just a matter of loving yourself and loving life with all its mishaps. Couple those with the tips above, and you'll be able to tap your inner resources in a way you've never known before.

Complete and Continue