Finding the Courage to Shift Your Scripts

You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.

— Galileo

1.  Be willing to endure the anguish that comes with transitions. Psychologists suggest it takes three weeks to start breaking old habits such as when you’re stressed over a project you bite your nails. Becoming an observer of your stories requires concentration. Placing judgments on peers is easier than turning the spotlight in strict honesty on one’s self. Eventually, you no longer avoid your patterns — you “own” them and you claim how they affect others. The tragedy for most people is that intentions, such as New Year resolutions never measure up. For example, you may work in an environment that bleeds your heart rather than feeds it (clock watching). Ask: Based on the original definition how do you say no to courage?

2.  Take action to implement this redesign. The script you learned a long time ago in your head becomes conditioned to a pattern that dictates your thinking and your behavior. For example, you might discover that your mindsets reveal how you tend to blame. Driving your day to day actions (or inactions), such as the conversations you choose to have or not have become outdated and don’t work anymore. Your courage meter comes in to play when you determine how you hold yourself 100% accountable for your actions. Ask: How do I hold myself accountable for my missteps and how long does it take for me to step up?

3.  An act of “courageous will” is required to change, so pay attention. Make a decision to live your life by staying focused on when you’re happy. Analyzing yourself allows you to discover when you’re “being” (spirit) is in joy. Then, you can begin to sustain this feeling and enjoy being. Will you consent? If you are willing, transformation occurs as an organic process. It’s a simple process if the proper attention is applied. The GE Chairman & CEO’s 2004 Dartmouth commencement speech was not filled with “big” words or haughty comments. He said, “The challenge you must accept, right now, is to make yourself better every day. …Your curiosity and desire to learn things on your own terms is really a key to success. … You must have courage.” Ask yourself: If I had no limitations, what would I be doing?

4. Find someone you trust to share in a dialogue. To change your cycle from mediocrity, struggle or suffering can be a difficult process. People share with me that at times they feel alone (not lonely) on their journey. Finding someone you can share your progress with keeps the new intent alive, serves as a means of accountability and supports you to raise your level of being present. One professional friend said, “Find someone you are willing to trust. Someone who doesn’t just back up your every comment or thought but someone to dialogue with who will challenge your thinking to keep you in the NOW and not in your old scripts.”

5.  Declare your courageous intention. Commit to a period of time to live life deliberately, such as 60-90 days. Ask: How willing am I to summons my courage?

StuckThinking™. She is an organizational effectiveness consultant, speaker, trainer and courage coach. She is the internationally published author of bestseller COURAGE (2001), recently released STUCK:12 Steps Up the Leadership Ladder (2010) and FACE IT! 12 Obstacles that Hold You Back on the Job (2011). She is certified in the Enneagram and MBTI®. Please visit

Sandra Ford Walston, The Courage Expert

Innovator, StuckThinking

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