When you are creating change, you should form intentional relationships that support your dreams, says Swoboda: ‘Create courage-based relationships with the people who play the game of life from a place of taking risks in the name of their desires.’
Ways to recognise the right people
- They will be vulnerable, instead of hiding behind a front. They will admit things are difficult, not pretend they are perfect.
- They will be optimistic, not complaining. While they may vent, they want to find solutions, not to be stuck in ‘moan mode’.
- They give empathy, not advice. When you talk about something that has upset you, they offer understanding about how you feel, rather than suggest improvements.
- They are compassionate, not critical. They do not gossip, judge or behave cattily about you or other people.
- They practise kindness over tough love. They will gently challenge you for your benefit, not tell you to get over your problems.
How to reach out
- Challenge the stories you tell yourself. Replace: ‘If I’m the real me, people will see how messy my life is,’ with: ‘Everyone has a messy life. People are relieved not to have to pretend.’
- Make a list of people who embody these qualities, and offer them the gift of empathy, optimism and compassion, creating a safe place for their vulnerabilities.
- Practise courageous connection. Ask a shop assistant how they are, or validate a co-worker.
‘The Courage Habit: How To Accept Your Fears, Release The Past, And Live Your Courageous Life’ by Kate Swoboda (New Harbinger, £13.99) is out now.
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