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The Courage Habit

How to Accept Your Fears, Release the Past, and Live Your Courageous Life

By Kate Swoboda
13-minute read
Audio available
The Courage Habit by Kate Swoboda

The Courage Habit (2018) takes a look at the role fear plays in our lives and offers a four-step program for becoming your most courageous self and following your dreams. Using inspiring examples and practical tips rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, and acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT, it outlines ways that everyone can cultivate the courage they need to change their lives.

  • Independent thinkers who want to confront their fears and unlock their hidden potential
  • Motivated-but-stuck achievers who want to learn the principles of habit formation
  • Sensitive souls who would like to foster more nurturing relationships

Kate Swoboda is a life coach, director of the Courageous Living Coach Certification, and creator of YourCourageousLife.com. She has contributed to Forbes, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Lifetime Moms, and others.

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The Courage Habit

How to Accept Your Fears, Release the Past, and Live Your Courageous Life

By Kate Swoboda
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
The Courage Habit by Kate Swoboda
Synopsis

The Courage Habit (2018) takes a look at the role fear plays in our lives and offers a four-step program for becoming your most courageous self and following your dreams. Using inspiring examples and practical tips rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, and acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT, it outlines ways that everyone can cultivate the courage they need to change their lives.

Key idea 1 of 8

Living courageously begins with pinpointing the role fear plays in your habits and routines.

The call to transform your life may have come at you unexpectedly. The truth that prompts it – perhaps you are unhappy with your career, a relationship, or something else – may feel inconvenient. It may prompt stress or feelings of self-doubt. The whole idea of change may seem impractical or uncomfortable.

These reactions are entirely normal. It may surprise you, though, to learn that they’re all rooted in the same thing: fear.

They may not look or feel like fear, but fear doesn’t always look the way we expect it will. Sometimes it manifests as other feelings. When we decide to make a radical change without first acknowledging our fear, it can be easy to use the feelings that arise from it to rationalize not following through.

Let’s say you’d like to change careers. But because you’ve already invested a lot of money and time on an advanced degree in your field, starting over seems illogical. So you keep puttering away at your job even though you increasingly dread going to work each morning.

Or maybe you have a nagging feeling that something is missing somewhere else in your life. The feeling is getting hard to ignore, but reversing course or drawing a totally new map feels incredibly intimidating. Why should taking a new direction seem so scary, though?

Well, the brain prefers comfort and predictability. To get these, it floods your body with feelings of fear and anxiety when its routines are challenged. Likewise, when you choose the predictable route, the brain rewards you with the feeling of relaxation.

This is ultimately why facing your fears and making changes are both so difficult. They require patience, as well as sitting with the feelings that make you uncomfortable. Trying to fight fear by ignoring it or relentlessly telling yourself to “think positive” are methods that simply don’t work. 

So what can you do instead?

You can choose to practice courage by engaging with your fear, and giving yourself permission to ditch the status quo and figure out a better way to live. One way to do this is by reconsidering your approach to fear by challenging old habits and forming new ones. But before you’re ready for this four-step process, the Courage Habit, you need to do a few other things first, beginning with embracing your authentic desires.

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