Courage Boosters: 8 ways to be brave when you’re feeling freaked

Oct 25, 2016

Courage Boosters |


I have a firm belief that courage and bravery isn’t something that some people have and some people don’t.  In my experience, courage is a practice.  It’s something that you can get better and better at summoning – like a muscle, courage can be flexed over and over again to become stronger.  And in even better news, flexing your courage in very small ways requires the same je ne sais quoi as flexing your courage in big ways.  It requires the same self-talk, the same belief in your innate ability and resilience, the same willingness to accept some level of risk in order to reap reward.  And so, I’m an advocate of finding small ways to flex your courage on a regular basis, so that you can find what it takes to be brave when you’re feeling truly freaked about something – whether it’s making a big life change or just trying something you’ve never done before.

Here are 8 Courage Boosters – little things you can do to boost your courage, and help you remember just what you’re made of:


  1. Learn something new.  It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic or scary, but when you do it, take note of all the things that you had to figure out along the way, the new skills you had to acquire.  Notice how many times you totally screwed it up before you got it right.  You survived, right?
  2. Tell someone you love them.  For the first time or the hundredth time, sharing this sentiment in a way that is truly meaningful never stops feeling a little vulnerable…but it reaps incredible rewards.
  3. State your opinion.  Along the same lines exploring vulnerability as a way to tap into courage, stating what you believe in can be scary, but fierce as all hell.  Go for it.
  4. Do something you usually ask for help for all by yourself.
  5. Be bold.  Wear something bold.  Do something bold.  Shock someone…even if it’s only yourself.
  6. Go somewhere you’ve never been before:  to the movies by yourself, on a new hiking trail, to a nearby town.
  7. Think of something you’re really damn afraid of doing.  Now do the thing you’re avoiding:  actually write out the list of things that could go wrong, ways you could fail, hurts you might incur as a result of putting your neck out there.  Naming your fears and being very, very specific about them might actually knock the substance right out of them.
  8. Purposefully fail at something.  Choose anything.  Do it really badly.  Survive.

Okay lady, it’s time for you to go out there and Do The Thing.  What Courage Boosters will you try out?  Do you have some of your own you’d like to use?

The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!