Do you want to access more of your inner courage? Inspiration from a Lion for Writing & Life.

I have been thinking a lot about courage lately. There are so many times and circumstances in life that ask us to be courageous. Journal writing can help us deepen our courage. Courage is defined in many ways, courage means…

  • to be brave and confident enough to do what you believe in (Cambridge English Dictionary)
  • strength in the face of pain or grief
  • the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” ~ Anne Frank

Do you desire more courage in any area of your life?

Recently, my 11-year-old son Jesse played the part of the Lion in the Wizard of Oz. As the lion, he had to go on an epic journey to find his courage. Being on stage as an actor took courage too! My favourite aspect of the Lion character is that he realized he had his courage all along.

I interviewed Jesse to get his insights about courage, and here is what he had to say:

Me: What does courage mean to you?
Jesse: Courage is like jumping from a place, skydiving or doing something other people wouldn’t do or think to do. Doing something risky.

Me: How does courage help you?
Jesse: Do things you wouldn’t normally do.

Me: What advice do you have for someone who might lack courage or wish they had more courage?
Jesse: Just try! If you’re afraid of it, just try it!

Journal writing can help you cultivate your courage. Here are three writing exercises to help you do this:

1. Think about a time in your life when you needed to be courageous. Write, in as much detail as you can, about what it felt like to be courageous. Did you feel strong like a lion? Is there a metaphor that describes your courage? Remembering a previous time you were courageous can help you feel more courage in the present.

2. How would your life be different if you could access more of your inner courage? Write about the difference. What would change? What might you start doing? What might you stop doing? Get curious. Simply write about the possibilities.

3. How can you acknowledge and celebrate the courageous part of you that already exists within? Your courage has helped you get where you are today, like the Lion getting to Oz. Make a list of all the times you have tapped into your courage and let it lead the way. List building is a great journal writing technique. It allows you to see a lot of information/ideas in a quick way and also gives structure to your writing. Pause to read over your list and take a moment to acknowledge your courage and all the ways it makes a positive difference in your life.

We are living amidst times that take courage, optimism and strength. May journal writing support you to live courageously, one day at a time. As Anaïs Nin said, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”