1-Sentence-Summary: The Courage Habit helps you unearth your hidden desires for a better life, shows you how fear buried them in the first place, and outlines the path toward overcoming the paralysis that being afraid brings so that you can have everything you’ve ever dreamed of.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
How many times have you been in a rut and then woken up one day with the attitude of changing everything immediately? Unfortunately, you probably tried hard but eventually succumbed to your bad habits and worries that got you down in the first place.
You want to improve your life. It would be amazing to have a perfect career that you’re passionate about. And a partner that’s a 10/10. Yet, you fall prey to your deepest fears and fail.
But you can break the cycle. All you need to do is discover how to beat what you are afraid of, improve your emotional routines, and defeat your limiting beliefs.
Life coach Kate Swoboda has learned how to do just that and teaches you how in her book The Courage Habit: How to Accept Your Fears, Release the Past, and Live Your Courageous Life.
Here are just 3 of the many inspirational lessons in the book:
- You have permission to explore your deepest desires, and doing so will make you more courageous.
- Fear is inevitable, but you will gain confidence by discovering your habitual patterns of succumbing to it.
- The stories you tell yourself about why you can’t be and do what you love are holding you back, but you can reframe them to extinguish their influence.
Ready to give your courage a boost and start living your dreams? Let’s discover how!
Lesson 1: If you want to have more courage, accept that you have permission to identify what you want most in life and go for it.
A couple of years ago I had an epiphany that completely changed my life. It was on a walk during my lunch break while I was thinking about who I am. I thought about how my whole life, I’d been trying to become just like my heroes.
Then it hit me like a hurricane: my greatest hero in the world is me! But not who I am now, the future version of myself. The me that was at the next level up from where I was at the moment.
That’s when I realized that I needed to get out of the way of that person and let the hero inside of me take control. Not long after that life-changing walk, I started looking into what I truly wanted in life.
The author recommends you find out what you want by visualizing your Liberated Day. Imagine a perfect day in the future. Go into deep detail about every aspect of it. What do you feel? How does it begin and end?
Also imagine what your most courageous version of yourself would do. It’s about what you want, so don’t worry about external influences. Pay special attention to your internal feelings.
Once you have your sights set, pick some areas of your life to start changing now and get out of your comfort zone to begin!
Lesson 2: Understanding the patterns you follow when you let fear paralyze you will build your confidence.
The reason you’re struggling to follow your dreams is because you are afraid. But you can’t just suddenly decide that you’re going to be rid of it. In the words of Dr. Brene Brown: “you can’t selectively shut down emotion.”
But you can decide how the emotions you do feel will affect your actions. The secret is in your habits. Charles Duhigg explores the effect that habits have on our emotions in great detail in The Power of Habit.
The first feelings we have are the cue, which, when we encounter, triggers our brain to enter a routine that gives us a reward. In the case of the emotion of fear, the routine gets us out of whatever situation is making us afraid. Even if it’s good for us.
To overcome your fear routine, you need to first identify how it manifests itself for you then practice interrupting the process. Here are four persona’s the author teaches us to be aware of when trying to beat it:
- The Perfectionist
- The Saboteur
- The Martyr
- The Pessimist
If you’re a perfectionist, you’re constantly unsatisfied and overwhelmed and take on too much. Saboteaur’s get excited initially but feeling stuck to a routine wears it away. It’s hard for them to stay consistent.
People-pleasing is a hallmark for the martyr, who makes the excuse that they have to give up their dreams to serve others. Last we have the pessimist, who thinks nothing will work out so they don’t bother trying.
Lesson 3: Reframe your excuses to beat them.
Right now, you’re following a certain set of rules about how the world works. They’re not all true though, and many of them are holding you back. That’s why we call them limiting stories.
But they don’t have to dominate your life. If you turn them around they can become catalysts for success.
The author once had a client named Carolyn who appeared to be happy. She traded what she could accomplish with her coding skills for whatever she needed, which felt free to her.
But Carolyn had a lot of debt so she couldn’t pass a credit check that was necessary to get an apartment. If she got a normal job, she knew that the IRS would just garnish her wages.
She initially refused, then, when a friend offered her a job with a salary of over $100k. After examining her stories, however, she realized that she wasn’t happy but just kept making excuses to stay comfortable.
After accepting the position, Carolyn finally got out of debt and became more free!
To beat your stories, identify a part of life that you feel stuck in. Then, complete the phrase “I’m frustrated because…” Finally, write out your limiting stories and redirect them to become positive.
The Courage Habit Review
I’ll be honest, a lot of the ideas in The Courage Habit weren’t new to me because I spend a lot of time with coaches who teach these principles. However, I still enjoyed and felt inspired by the unique suggestions this book gives. We could all use a little more courage to live a life that makes us happy, and this is a great place to start!
Who would I recommend The Courage Habit summary to?
The 39-year-old who has been in their career for a while but knows it’s not what they really want to be doing for the rest of their life, the 23-year-old who has a lot of motivation but feels like they’re in a rut and could use some help getting out, and anyone that wants to know how to gain the confidence to live a life they love.