Joseph Campbell said the cave you fear to enter is the one that holds the treasure you seek. While that’s true, it’s important to balance self care and courage when going into scary places.
If you follow me, you know I’m against the “just do it” mentality which prioritizes task over self. It’s cruel to force yourself to do something which leaves your nervous system in a shambles.
When you ignore your body’s need for safety and instead barrel through, you abandon yourself. And when you do that, authenticity goes out the window.When you ignore your body's need for safety and instead barrel through, you abandon yourself. Click To Tweet
You won’t show up as your true self when you’re white-knuckling this way. And the exposure therapy we hear so much about only works within the context of safety.
Without balancing self-care and courage, your attempts to expose yourself may have the reverse effect you desire. Instead of feeling more comfortable, you’ll end up feeling more fearful than ever.
How to balance self care and courage
So, how to balance these two essential needs? There may be times when we need to prioritize one over the other.
For example, when you first begin a healing journey, you may have to spend a lot more time on self care. You’re getting to know your wants and needs for the first time and choose to prioritize those.
However, fear is not always an indicator that things are not safe. It may be a trauma response from childhood when things were indeed unsafe, but you’re an adult now.
Inner child healing can help you navigate this sense of unsafety left over from childhood. In essence you become your own good parent and give yourself the comfort and support you missed.
From this space of a more regulated nervous system, you can balance self care and courage with more confidence.
No longer will you face the either/or of gritting your teeth and barreling through or hiding in fear. Incorporating aspects of self care into growth experiences will come more naturally.
That’s because with healing you shift from shaming to supporting yourself. You’ll stop being mean to yourself and instead ask, “how can I take care of myself while still doing things that stretch me outside my comfort zone?”
For example, before jumping on camera, you may do some breathing exercises. Put a hand on your heart to center yourself before hitting record.
Why growth feels scary
It’s common knowledge that growth happens outside the comfort zone. However, that stretch may feel more dangerous to some of us than others.
Say, you grew up in a home without support or guidance, where staying vigilant for threats became a full-time job. You are more likely to view the discomfort zone as painful and life-threatening, not exciting.
What takes a little courage for others feels impossible to you, and that’s not your fault. Helping the inner child feel safe while navigating growth-oriented opportunities becomes your new job.
So, the next time you tell yourself you “have” to do something, ask yourself what you need right now.The next time you tell yourself you "have" to do something, ask yourself what you need right now. Click To Tweet
In fact, it may be best for your growth to do that thing. But you may first need some kindness and reassurance from yourself.
Be willing to meet your own needs for safety instead of abandoning yourself. And enlist support from others who have experience balancing self care and courage.
I’m pleased to present you with an opportunity to do that with the Mind & Soul Bundle starting September 14 (through 17). Avail of the expertise in 62 courses, e-books, and masterclasses valued at $13,054 for only $70.
I’ve checked out many of the offers inside the bundle and can attest to their value. They cover areas of growth including emotional health, nutrition, relationships, and finances. I believe you’ll find much here to help you navigate the dual need for self care and courage.