How to Be Courageous

courageous - drawing of profile of woman with a headband around her forehead and long dark hair

The process of recovery from an eating disorder is a process of courage. You have to be courageous to take a look at your relationship with food and your body. And you have to be courageous to face the feelings you have been trying so hard to numb and learn a new way to connect with food, your body and others.

In this process, courage needs to be defined as the ability to do things despite the fear. And not waiting for fear to pass for things to be different or for you to feel different. Courage means stepping out of your comfort zone. And experimenting with new ways of being and feeling. It means responding to yourself with kindness because you know that this is difficult.

Being courageous is trusting that the path will reveal itself if you allow others to support you and guide you.

Being courageous is very hard.

It takes a lot of effort and vulnerability. It means making mistakes and trying again. All the while, embracing yourself with compassion. This is a very difficult process for someone who tends to be rigid and is ruled by anxiety. I always advise my clients to start small, with drops of courage. And baby steps that help you create a memory of how being courageous feels like. Sometimes this means getting up in the morning, trying a new food, allowing yourself to stay with a feeling. Sometimes baby steps are calling a friend to say hi, sharing an idea or making eye contact.

Just like anything, cultivating the courage to be emotionally honest takes time and effort. It takes allowing yourself to be vulnerable and that can be scary.

Start small, but start somewhere.

Maybe you can start by completing a short journal entry to “start thinking about being courageous”.

Below is a worksheet that will help you explore your courage and discover that might be more ready to be courageous than you thought.

Companion Worksheet

Image Source: Flickr


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