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Courage and Freedom



"The secret to happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage."

-Thucydides

Courage doesn’t mean we don’t experience fear. It often means we notice the fear and choose to do hard things.

Having a commitment to self-awareness isn’t easy. Self-awareness is the most heavily weighted skill in the emotional intelligence (EQ) competency framework. In the context of EQ, it suggests emotional self-awareness, knowing how you are feeling. Many of us not only don’t know how we feel, and if we did, we don’t have a lexicon or vocabulary to express our emotions.

The deep inner work of developing self-awareness scares some of us. We imagine that anything ‘deep’ must be dark. Surprisingly, as I have explored this personally I find the experience is more illuminating than dark.

A question I live with and suggest my clients live with is: “What is this for the sake of?”

“This” can be a current exploration, choice, or action.

For me, a commitment to continually developing self-awareness is for the sake of choices. I cannot change what I’m not aware of. I am more likely to make conscious choices that make a positive difference if I am very aware of what is going on inside me and the impact that has on others.

Not easy, not always delightful, but definitely worth the commitment.

Also, very humbling.

It takes courage to pursue freedom…….freedom from inner states that don’t serve us, freedom to continue to connect to what matters most, and freedom to be who we are here to be and have the life we are meant to have, not one that is expected of us.


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