Written by Susana Abreu
When we think of courage, with tend to think of heroic acts, such as saving a live or surviving a terminal illness. Although these are in fact heroic actions, there is also something called “ordinary courage,” and such is normally dismissed by most of us. Doctor Brene Brown author of The Gifts of Imperfection –Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are describes “ordinary courage” as putting our vulnerability on the line. That is, speaking openly and honestly about what makes us vulnerable. Practicing such courage is not easy, because we are exposing ourselves to getting hurt and/or disappointed. The original meaning of the word courage is “to speak one’s mind, by telling all one’s heart.”
When we have a client who openly tells us that they struggle with their weight, overeating and/or body image, they are being greatly courageous. It is easy to think that they are sharing this information with us, because we are experts and this is just part of our job. In reality, it is a privilege when another human being opens up to us about their struggles and vulnerabilities because they are showing great courage. Think about how powerful it would be to that client if you give him/her credit for being courageous and sharing personal information with you that you know is not easy to share.
The job of a fitness professional can be so rewarding, if we “dig dip” into the many wonderful opportunities for growth there are while helping others. Our job allows us not only to help people but also gives us an opportunity to promote our growth and keep the passion for what we do alive so we can continue to make a difference in our communities.
I encourage you to practice “ordinary courage” today with a friend, a family member or even a co-worker. Talk about your own story of courage, express how you feel and experience the power of being spirited! I can reassure you that you will discover great new things about yourself, as well as develop more respect and compassion towards yourself and others. Go forth and be courageous!