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Cultivating Courage to Grow

Cultivate Courage to Grow by Kelley Grimes at Cultivating Peace and Joy

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.

~Raymond Lindquist


How difficult is it for you to let go of the familiar? In these times of so much uncertainty and change, we sometimes find ourselves letting go of the familiar on a daily basis. This experience of stretching outside our comfort zones can be challenging and even sometimes terrifying. We can often feel like the ground is moving under our feet.


The process of growing, however, requires that we stretch outside our comfort zones regularly and cultivate the courage to do so.


What usually stops us from growing or stretching is our fear of the unknown. We get so attached to what we know that we fear anything else. Unfortunately, in the process we limit ourselves immensely and often stay in situations that do not serve us for much longer than is good for us.


The one thing that transforms our fear of letting go of the familiar is courage. When we cultivate the courage to leave the familiar behind, we nurture hope and possibility.


Each act of letting go of the familiar, strengthens our belief in ourselves, increases our tolerance for the discomfort of the unknown, deepens our gratitude, and assists us in cultivating more courage.


And each time we act courageously, we give permission to others to grow into their full potential and provide the needed inspiration to feed their hope that life could be different for them.


Since we know that cultivating anything requires practice, here are seven ways you can nurture your courage every day:


  1. Listen to an inspiring talk by a courageous person.


  1. As Eleanor Roosevelt encouraged us, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”


  1. Create a mantra you repeat to yourself that reinforces your ability to act courageously.


  1. Ask for help.


  1. Choose to be vulnerable and speak your truth.


  1. Take inspired action, even small steps create momentum.


  1. Celebrate each courageous act.


Cultivating courage is a deeply self-nurturing act and supports us becoming our most authentic selves. Nurturing courage does require intention and commitment, but the effort is worth it as the benefits are endless.


Remember as Robin S. Sharma wrote, “As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.”


Go inspire others with your courageous acts and nurture peace in the world from the inside out!

Kelley Grimes

Sending you so much peace, love and gratitude,

Kelley Grimes, M.S.W.
Counselor, Author & Speaker

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Join the discussion 32 Comments

  • Rachel says:

    Love this. I tell myself “comfort is overrated” when i feel uncomfortable with moving forward, it makes me smile and take that next step.

    • I love the mantra “comfort is overrated”! Bringing in humor is such a wonderful way to break through our fear and take the next step. Thank you so much for sharing Rachel!

  • Lore Raymond says:

    I want this as a tattoo: “Remember as Robin S. Sharma wrote, “As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.”
    Appreciating your 7 ways to cultivate courage, especially #1–Only I’m modifying it to be that I will intentionally set up one phone call a week to connect with a courageous and inspiring person.
    Tag, you’re it, Kelley! Will message you now. xoxo

    • I love your modification Lore! As I was editing my article, I wanted to expand #1 to include talking to or introducing yourself to, or sharing your courageous story with others so that is perfect! I love that you reached out and I look forward to talking and I am also totally inspired by Robin S. Sharma’s quote. Thank you so much!

  • Kelley, I love the photo of the open road, truly you can get wherever you want to go if you just begin! I like your steps to nurturing courage. For me, it is remembering that even the smallest steps help you along the way! They are very much if not a pivotal part of the nurturing!

    • I love that photo too and looked at many to find one that symbolized courage. The fact is so much of the fear of the unknown is just that – fear of the unknown – so taking even the smallest step is so empowering because it brings us more information and confidence in ourselves. Thank you so much for your comment Crystal. I am deeply grateful!

  • Laura says:

    Perfect to kick off 2018. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us Kelly. Namaste

    • Thank you so much Laura! I have been writing about living with intention for the last few weeks and I realized that to do so takes courage so I wanted to explore that nurturing courage this week. I am grateful for your comment!

  • I find that affirmations help me a great deal. If I can affirm that I am safe and it’s only change, I can move forward. Great post.

    • I love the power of affirmations too Barb and that they support us in cultivating the courage to take inspired action. I love the reminder that we are safe when we are being called to let go the familiar so that we can move forward with courage and faith. Thank you so much for your comment!

  • Debra Reble says:

    Thank you Kelley for this inspiring article. One of my words for 2018 is courage so this blog is so timely for me. For me courage comes from my heart and not my head. So I’m boldly stepping out with my courageous heart this year and being more visible. Much love

    • I am with you Debra in boldly stepping out with my courageous heart this year and expanding the expression of my purpose! I loved your affirmation to live courageously in your blog this week and how often we are aligned in our messages! Thank you so much and sending much love back to you!

  • Leila says:

    This is so coo Kelley, it so ties with my thought for the week about leaving your comfort zone.
    Thank you for these tips!

  • Love this post Kelley and your tips for nurturing our courage to let go of the familiar! So needed in these uncertain times! Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

  • “The new Normal” love that! love #5 and love your perspective on this

    • I love that quote too Heather! It is such a good reminder and encourager that when we take courageous action it changes what we understand as normal. I love how being vulnerable and speaking my truth nurtures my courage as well. Thank you so much for your comment!

  • Andrea says:

    I love everything about this. Afterall, without fear there’s no courage, right? Thanks for the beautiful post.

    • Thank you so much Andrea! Fear can be our friend when we choose to learn from it and cultivate the courage to take inspired action anyway! I am so grateful for your kind comment.

  • Lovely and encouraging for us all, Kelley! I love the quote you started with, as so often we humans stay in our comfort zone and feel safer with what is familiar to us, yet the real growth and adventure, is when we take a step outside of that comfort zone.

    • Yes indeed Beverley the real growth and adventure is when we take a step outside our comfort zones and learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable for our journey of lifelong growth! Thank you so much for your comment!

  • So many thanks today for your wisdom along the path today!

  • Maria says:

    When I remind myself that everything I want is on the other side of my fear, I find the willingness to face my fear and move forward. Even if it’s just one tiny step. Thank you for your beautiful message.

    • That is so beautiful Maria – everything we want is on the other side of our fear. So true which makes cultivating courage even more important. Thank you so much for your insights and wisdom!

  • Dr. Schavi M. Ali says:

    Namaste! Happy New Year!
    A wonderful mantra for courage and peace is the simple sound “OM” (often also written as “AUM”). It is best to recite it in a long manner after taking a deep breath each time. It can be recited while sitting comfortably in meditative focus, while taking a relaxing walk, or even while driving to remain calm in traffic. It should be recited numerous times. It also energizes and helps to heal all of the chakras. Further, it removes disharmonious vibrations from any area where it is pronounced. It is the Divine sound that the Infinite Presence called out at creation. Blessings to you and your family.
    Much Love, Dr. Schavi M. Ali

    • What a beautiful reminder that chanting “OM” is such a powerful transformative practice supporting our ability to let go of the familiar. I am so grateful that you shared your wisdom and blessings to my family and me! Wishing you a beautiful New Year!

  • Kathleen says:

    Thank you for sharing these simple and powerful ways to stretch and grow. Just reading these take some of the fear out of it, for me. I love the quote from Robin S. Sharma. I’m going to put it up in my studio as a reminder to myself!

  • Great article. I am experiencing many of these issues
    as well..

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