‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’. (John 1:1|NKJV)
I have a Lionheart; I am Lionhearted, a courageous and determined heart.
When I thought of writing about overcoming fear with courage and determination, the idea of the Lionheart came to my mind. I realised that affirming what we are; helps us achieve our goals. Affirmations are powerful instruments that help us gain confidence. The Indians call them ‘Sankalpa’. If you repeat them daily at the start and the end of your meditation, you will realise that you will become what you affirm yourself to be.
While reflecting on affirmation, concentration and ‘Sankalpa’, I thought of a story of an inspiring yogi who visited a Sage and wanted to learn meditation. The Sage advised him to concentrate on what he loves the most. During meditation, concentration on one object will lead to meditation, an effortless flow of the mind towards an object. As the young man found this exercise difficult, he decided to meditate on his buffalo. At the end of the day, the Sage came and asked him to come out of the meditation room. The student replied.
“I am very grateful to you. I am in deep meditation now. I cannot come out now. I am very big. Horns have grown out of my head. I cannot get out of the small door. I like the buffalo very much. I have become a buffalo myself.” He was persuaded to come out the room and meditate on the light. We become what we focus on. This is a funny story, but it shows the power of concentration of one thought. Affirmations are such thoughts.
The Power of Concentration and Affirmation
‘… A man reaps what he sows’ (Galatians 6:7|NIV). It is essential to sow positive thoughts, words, emotions, and actions worldwide, thus reaping positive results. So, if your dream is to be happy, successful, and courageous, start by affirming what you wish to be every morning.
- I am happy.
- I am successful.
- I am a courageous leader.
Repetition alone works wonders but doesn’t suffice. We must still do the work of self-transformation.
Clarity about Your Goals.
You have to be certain about what you want to be, who you wish to become, where you want to go and why you must work consistently to achieve your goals.
Change Your Thoughts: Overcome Fear and Stress.
Think about what is preventing you from becoming what you want. Knowledge of what triggers anxiety, stress, and fear is the beginning of the battle to overcome it. The key to freedom is to know our mind and free it from negative thoughts, and train it to be grounded, calm, and relaxed.
Understanding the Psyche and Changing One’s Thoughts.
It is imperative to know your ‘self-talk’. You feed the stress when you repeat certain thoughts mentally. These thoughts are specific to the psyche and are rooted in our environment. Negative ‘self-talks’ are a source of stress, fear and anxiety when they are harmful and destructive and vice versa. As we have seen, thoughts influence our emotions and our emotions influence our thoughts. The change of negative thoughts into positive thoughts affects our mood and emotions and stopped the anxiety, fear and stress.
You will experience a change in your life only when you alter your inner dialogue and ensure that it is always positive, affirming, and empowering.
Learning how to release anxiety, fear, anger, or irritability without creating havoc in your psyche, is key. It is essential to learn not to allow instinctive responses to cloud your thinking. Problems are better solved when you are not emotional. The thought process works better. More energy is available, which means mental energies are not frittered away in anxious ideas or irrational fears. It is about training the mind to deal with feelings and emotions, to calm down first before you act. It is also about transcending limiting thoughts. There are various relaxation, mindfulness techniques one can learn to achieve peace of mind. Beyond prayer, meditation, one can exercise, and develop positive habits and sustainable life changes.
If you can ensure the following, you will be less stressed, less fearful, and happier:
- Know how to remain positive.
- Know how to put thoughts in perspectives.
- Be satisfied with your achievements.
Change Your Habits.
Negative habits are the source of suffering. These negative habits, such as smoking, addictions to drugs or alcohol, food binging, bulimia, using excessively your credit card, borrowing money, living on debts, procrastinating, unnecessary backbiting, stealing, overindulgence, etc. are all sources of pains to you and others. Being ruled continuously by these habits is an enormous source of stress, fear, anxiety and unhappiness. So, change your habits.
Develop Positive Habits.
One of the most positive habits one can develop is to build courageous habits in the time of fears and uncertainty. To live with courage, confidence and clarity about your life’s goals should not be a challenge. To achieve such a purpose, one must develop courage and overcome fear.
Courage Habits Model.
Make sustainable life changes which will impact meaningfully in the way you live. Rather than always struggle, consistently develop new courage habits which will bring sustainable changes to your life.
List five habits which you will develop and sustain over a long period of time and stick to them. Repeat them daily and they will bear fruits.
Align Yourself to Your Highest Purpose, Goal and Truth.
If you do not know your life goals, envision and create a vision board and spend time reflecting on what you were meant to do in life. Be clear about your life goals. Write these goals, yearly, monthly, weekly, daily and prioritize them.
For those who believe in God, whatever name they give to Him (God, Christ, Yahweh, Allah, Shiva, Krishna, the Great Mother or Divine Feminine, it all depends on your religion), surrender to the divine will, and fulfil the mission you were created to accomplish. It is always something lofty, ideal and source of goodness.
Fulfill the mission you were born to accomplish.
Be Courageous and Speak the Truth.
Be authentic, genuine, honest, and trustworthy. Find your voice and speak the truth. Be courageous and don’t let anyone oppress you or oppress those you love.
It is essential to have the courage to speak your truth in the face of adversity. As Martin Luther king said ‘the ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by bad people but the silence over that by good people. ‘
Work on Your Fear and Take Action.
Work with your fear and examine which fears are rational and grounded, in facts. If this is the case, then take action. Suppose you fear poverty and take remedial measures by building a financial safety net. If you fear illness, do your best to exercise, have a nutritious diet and keep optimum health.
Disregard all irrational fears. Instead, develop healthy emotions that create checks and balances and bring you back to peace and inner trust and security.
Use prayer, meditation, relaxation, and positive techniques to fill that inner space with joy, happiness, and absolute trust. The absolute trust in that great power eliminates fear.
Declare that you have attained a State of Courage, beyond all Fears.
I am not talking about the mechanical fears but going beyond the imaginary fears and trusting that whatever comes, you will have the strength to face the world with a strong and generous heart. May you become Lionheart, strong, powerful, and generous.
Together we are stronger. We must incarnate a powerful, loving, honest, kind, courageous and a lion’s heart.
Conclusively, Indira Gandhi reminds us that, ‘Without courage nothing can be accomplished’. Without courage, you cannot practice any other virtue. You have to muster courage – courage of different kinds. First, intellectual courage, to sort out different values and make up your mind about the one that is right for you to follow. Also, you have to exercise moral courage – ‘no matter what comes your way, no matter what the obstacle and the opposition is.’ Indira Gandhi
Therefore, arise, awake, and fight the battle of life. Face all challenges with courage and grace. Remember that you are a courageous man or woman.