My instructor Cathy Malchiodi, PhD has offered much insight in the Trauma-informed Art Therapy classes she teaches. In a recent lecture she shared this quote by Mark Twain, "Courage is resilience to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear." Many people think that courageous people are fearless but I'm not sure this is the case. Courageous people feel fear and anxiety like normal people but they are able to push through those feelings in order to overcome whatever obstacles get in their way. I believe when we practice pushing ourselves out of our comfort level, with each experience we gain new insight and build strength. We become more resilient with practice and it starts to get easier to overcome fear.
Brene Brown, who has studied vulnerability and overall human connection for many years, participated in a Youtube.com Ted Talk that was shared in the art therapy lecture about courage. Brene explained that when we do not face our feelings or fears, we might numb ourselves as a coping mechanism although, when we shutdown in this way, we numb out the good stuff like joy too.
Life can be great or horrible, big or small, it is all up to you and much depends on your approach. Do you box yourself in because you are stifled by your fears or do you push forward continuously reaching and exploring new horizons?
Life comes with struggle but God has instilled within each of us a persevering spirit. I recently wrote an article about persistence and how this plays a large role in those who are successful and how, many times, it is lacking in those who are not. Persistence builds resilience; it strengthens the spirit. Do not under estimate your ability, and do not get hung up on set backs or something you might consider a failure. Get your ego out of the driving seat and instead learn from these experiences.
The lecture ended with this quote by Anais Nin, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage”.