Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway
That’s pretty much the definition of courage – doing something in spite of being terrified by it. It’s also the title of a book on courage by Susan Jeffers. And there are lots of other books on the subject out there.
But what do we imagine courage is? A lot of us see it as something other people exhibit especially when they do big, dramatic things like climbing mountains or risking their own safety to help others. Clearly, these are acts of great courage and they are relatively easy to recognise. But what about the everyday acts of courage that aren’t so easily noticed? A person afraid of needles having an injection, for example, taking an exam when you feel anything but confident, asking for a payrise. Or a really tough one for so many of us – asking for help. Asking for help means admitting we can’t do everything ourselves, that we aren’t perfect, that things aren’t going how we’d like them to. It means admitting we’re vulnerable. Admitting vulnerability and asking for help are acts of great daring.
When someone contacts a therapist asking for help, we are delighted because they have taken the first and most courageous step towards changing their life. And “all” they’ve done is sent an email or picked up the phone. It’s not a big, visible action. But is it courageous. What will the therapist be like to speak to? Will s/he be able to understand what you need and why you’re asking for help? Will s/he be able to help? What if you meet and you don’t want to work with him/her? Will you be able to say so honestly?
All of these questions and more are bound to run through a person’s mind before they make contact. It’s natural that they should. Bear in mind that coming to meet a counsellor obliges you to nothing. You don’t have to come back if you don’t want to or you can come back in a few months or even a few years if that’s what you want to do. If you get through the door into the counselling room, you will be welcome for as little or as long a time as you choose and your courage for having arrived should be celebrated.
If you feel hesitant about asking for help, feel the fear and contact someone anyway.
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