Everyone has watched Wizard of Oz and knows how each of the main Oz characters has something they want to ask the wizard for. Dorothy wants to go home. The Scarecrow wants a brain, the Tin Man a heart, and the Lion some courage.
“We’re off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz”
I have always thought I was Dorothy; who doesn’t want to be the main character, but rewatching it a few weeks ago, I realized something. I am not Dorothy. I’m actually the Cowardly Lion.
The character you like but don’t want to be. Who wants to be the one who is afraid of everything. But I am.
I have never actually considered myself to be a particularly brave person. I am not super outgoing, and I sure don’t go out of my way to do things out of my comfort zone. I also had a teacher nickname me and my friend ‘the chickens’ in High School. I saw my wimpy ways, but I don’t think I ever wanted to accept that I relate to the cowardly Lion the most because I don’t want to be a scaredy-cat. I began to look back and realize how many things my fear has held me back from. How many times I’ve said no or not done something I have wanted to do because I feared how it would turn out, so I never tried.
“Courage dear heart” – CS Lewis
The month of January is always a month of reflection and planning goals for the year. For the past few years, I’ve been choosing a word through an online generator made by Jennifer Fulwiler (I’ll link it at the end of this post), but this year, in addition to that word, I decided to add ‘courage’ too.
It has been in my head for a while, but again, I was too afraid to say I wanted to be courageous. If I did that then I would have to actually act towards embracing it.
After the crazy year that was 2020, where nothing got done because sitting around the house makes everyone feel blah… I have decided 2021 is when I will try and work on the goals I neglected, like to stop being a chicken.
The quote from We Bought a Zoo, “You just need 20 seconds of insane courage,” I have decided it will be one of my year motos.
Some places I want to incorporate courage into is in the blog by writing things that scare me (Like this post!) and not worrying about whether people will like it or not.
On Instagram. -This is the year I will utilize the Instagram stories and talk in them! (I can make videos of me as Dwight Schrute with no shame but talking on Instagram stories are scary- go figure)
My job search. – specifically (once it’s back) trying to get into theater companies.
Utilizing my vocal minor that I worked hard for. Especially since singing is probably my favorite thing in the world.
This could possibly include one of the following. A. Singing in public, B. posting a video of me singing on social media. Eek, even writing those things out freak me out and make me want to hide under the covers and delete this whole post. I can sing on stage in a musical in front of hundreds of people no problem but putting myself out there without it being in a show is absolutely terrifying as an adult. Though somehow, 2nd grade me was insane and would stand up in front of the class to sing out of the blue.
“I even scare myself.” -Cowardly Lion
Working on being courageous is also a step in fighting my anxiety, a big known instigator in my fear-filled habits.
Small ways to be Brave in everyday life
- Calling someone on the phone without putting it off because you hate talking on the phone.
- Going up and asking for help when you can’t find something in the store. (I am a big- if I can’t find it myself it doesn’t exist, and I’ll just leave empty-handed instead of asking for help. So this will be a good challenge for me.)
- Say hello to someone you walk past instead of ignoring everyone out of convenience.
- Do something you always want to do but chicken out at the last minute. Examples: cutting your hair into the style you want to try, get that different Starbucks drink or an entree at a restaurant you always go to.(Cutting my hair is another moment I always go, “This is the time I insert a hair cut style and once I am in the chair, I say 2 inches off the bottom, please. Anyone else?)
You can start small and work up to bigger decisions like starting the business or the blog or the Youtube channel you have always been wishing you could do but have always been too afraid to try.
Courage in Faith
For those, like me, who are immersed in your faith, I read some Bible verses to go along with ‘courage.’
I found this perfect one in the book of John. Fun fact: John, my favorite Gospel book.
“Be strong and courageous, and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.” John 16:33
This verse will be another one that I ingrain into my brain for this year and remind myself of it every time I try to chicken out of doing things that scare me. Especially in how comforting it is in anxiety-filled moments that a person does not have to be afraid because they are not alone because God is still with you then and always.
(This passage also counts as a way I am courageous because posting things where I talk about my faith scares me. The overachiever in me feels that not being a theologian means I can’t speak about this stuff. So here I am doing more things that scare me already!)
“You are under the unfortunate delusion that simply because you run away from danger, you have no courage.”- The Wizard
The End Goal?
At the end of the movie, the Lion finds out he does have courage and can be courageous. That is my hope too. Hopefully, by December, I will have stepped away from my chicken like habits and have the foundation to continually be filled with courage.
Let’s be filled to the brim with courage this year together!
Tell me in the comments one way in which you are going to be courageous this year so we can all support each other 🙂
If you want to have a word of the year generated for you! Click below