C is for Courage
This post is part of our blog series, The A to Z of Being Babyproof, a celebration of the attitudes and behaviours it takes to balance career and family – because “babyproof” is not a destination, it’s a blueprint for having it all and making it work.
On the blog this month we’ve been talking about the importance of facing your fears and harnessing the power of courage in order to achieve your career and family goals. My blog here offers tips and tools for tapping into your reserves of strength and hopefully by now your inner gladiator is starting to emerge! This week, I’m sharing some of my favourite books and resources about courage to give you an extra boost. Lots to get your teeth into, so enjoy. Be inspired to be brave!
I couldn’t put this book down. It was fascinating to read how someone so successful (she is the producer of Grey’s Anatomy, How To Get Away With Murder and Scandal) had been so fearful of stepping out into the world, and how she overcame that fear again and again.
The Power of Habit – Why we do what we do and how to change by Charles Duhigg
This book will teach you about habits and how they are formed. Courage is something that needs to be practised – it’s not innate (see more about this in my blog here.) Duhigg shows how to make courage into a habit that you can practise and improve upon.
The Untethered Soul – The journey beyond yourself by Michael A. Singer.
In this New York Times bestseller, spiritual teacher Singer explores the meaning of self and shows how by using techniques of mindfulness and meditation, you can develop your consciousness to overcome fears and embrace possibility.
Another New York Times bestseller, this book is brilliantly wise. Dr Brené Brown explores how the fear of the unknown makes you feel vulnerable and resistant. She shows how embracing this vulnerability and revealing your true self is in fact a strength that can help you bring purpose and meaning to your life.
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers.
A classic of the genre, I remember my mum reading this book in the 80s! Susan Jeffers offers insight and tools for overcoming anxiety and indecision so that you can take action in any given situation and move forward with your life.
Big Magic – Creative living beyond fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Best known for her 2006 memoir Eat, Pray, Love, the brilliantly accessible Gilbert shares stories from her own life to demystify creativity and to help you embrace fear as an essential part of the creative process.
On Becoming Fearless – A roadmap for women by Arianna Huffington.
In my opinion courage isn’t about being fearless, it’s about facing your deepest fears. In this book, successful businesswoman and politician Arianna Huffington uses examples from her own life and from women in history and literature to show you how to act bold when you feel afraid, and how to let go of the stifling need for approval from others.
If you like your self-help books to be practical and straightforward, this is the one for you. Mel Robbins uses the psychology and science behind habitual behaviour to explore the power of the ‘push moment’ and offers a simple technique for overcoming fear and taking positive action.
Brave – 50 everyday acts of courage to thrive in work, love and life by Margie Warrell.
Again – practical help is on offer in this guide to everyday bravery. Life coach and author Margie Warrell explains how courage is a habit that be practised daily and how the cumulative effect of practising courageous actions will ultimately transform you into the brave person you want to be.
Not everyone likes a self-help manual, so if you find literature more inspiring, try:
The Alchemist – A fable about following your dream by Paul Coehlo.
This is a magical parable by a beautiful writer. A young Andalucian shepherd boy feels compelled to leave his humble beginnings and follow his dreams to new lands. His experiences and the wisdom he gains along his journey leave you with the uplifting feeling that you can be true to yourself, and follow your heart.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
A powerful classic examining race and class in the American deep south – and an inspirational example of one man’s courage as he struggles for justice.
Do you like your inspiration to come in digital form? Then try this app:
Even with the best intentions, it’s not always easy to show courage and do the thing we are afraid of doing. I am a firm believer in affirmations as a tool for changing mindset and behaviour and this app can help you do just that. Every day you can select affirmations to help you through situations and record them in your own voice, add positive music and listen! Affirming your courage regularly will help you feel, and be, braver in your daily life.
Finally, my blog on The Gladiator Speech offers a practical way to overcome self-doubt and access your inner strength.
Have you read any other good books about bravery? Share your recommendations in our Facebook and Linkedin groups. For more advice, tools and resources for achieving your career and family goals, watch out for our Babyproof Your Career online course coming soon. You can register your interest here.
Caroline Flanagan is a Keynote Speaker, Babyproof Coach and Author of Babyproof Your Career, The Secret to Balancing Work and Family so you can Enjoy It All. Caroline believes passionately in the dream of having it all, and founded Babyproof Your Life to train and prepare ambitious career women for the marathon of working parenthood so they can find their own way to #enjoyitall and #makeitwork. You can reach Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org