Mental Skills

Photo by Paul Volostnov 🇺🇦 / Unsplash

Courage is in the vacuum of “not knowing”. That is where we get stretched beyond what we “think” we are capable of. This is a rule of both life and sport and just about any challenge you can think of.

We think we need to know the path, that it has to be predictable, but real growth does not occur until we relinquish control. It’s a bloody frightening place to not know.

To allow that vacuum to absorb you. To admit to yourself that the buried treasure inside you cannot be known, only discovered. That discovery can only be made in the absence of the control that you inherited from others. This discovery has to be all yours. It’s a solo job, no one is coming with you and no one can help you.

Forced by life to sit and wait. Forced to stay attentive. Forced not to make assumptions.

It’s not until all the tethers to the shoreline are completely cut that you discover that control is an illusion driven by a frightened collective society that has been at war with itself for thousands of years.

In my own life I have found that this truth truly sucks, it is not a comfortable experience, so I have no judgment whatsoever around safety-seeking. However, this truth seriously shines a light onto the world of performance.

You’ve got no real safety until you let go, friends!

When you leave the safety of the shore and start to travel through the storms of challenge, you begin to discover that, yes, although It hurts like hell, I can. Further to that, I must, I have no bloody choice anymore!!

So the point is this; don’t wait to trip over this discovery by having life pull the rug out from underneath you. Leave the shore now. Let go of control, you don’t really have any, at least none worth having.

Fearless Climbs
Photo by Connor McSheffrey / Unsplash

The courage you are seeking can only come from two sources; either great loss, or you can choose to cultivate it.

Either way, it comes from within you, not from outside of you. You can cultivate it by taking a similar route to the loss. You let go, you accept the cards, you feel the depth of the relentless loneliness in it and allow yourself to fall through the challenges rather than fight with them. Pure acceptance. There, and only there, will you meet your own courage.

Not the type that makes bold statements, but real courage. Silent, still, and resilient.

Hollywood hyperbole is the idea that courage is a thought and a projection. So what will you choose? Encouragement or discouragement?

If you are thinking about it, it is not courage. It’s a thought that keeps you anchored to that shoreline that you so desperately want to leave.

Cultivation of courage is the ultimate form of subtraction, not addition.

Let go, all rivers flow down to become the ocean as long as you don’t hold onto the bank.