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Are You Courageous?

This morning I was looking through a photo stock site for an inspiring photo for my alcohol treatment program’s Alcohemy Facebook page, when I came across this one here. I was really drawn to it, not just because of the great colours, also because of how much meaning it embodied for me. It motivated me to write a separate article just on it.

The first thing that struck me was the courage by both these people to overcome the obvious fear factor involved. No matter how good we become at various skills we develop in life, I believe it is good for our soul to keep questioning and pushing our emotional and creative boundaries. That is why there is a motto that says, “Live life to the fullest” and not “Live life below your potential”. To experience a great sense of accomplishment and reward in life, we have to activate the courage in us to overcome the fears that prevent us from taking action. You can read more on the reality of fear in my article, What Is Fear and Is Fear Good or Bad for You.

The second thing I noticed about this photo is the team work shown in it. There is one person that has the courage to take a risk and a leap of faith, and another that is there to help and support them in achieving their goal. Certainly we can achieve great things in life by ourselves, though most often we can get there quicker and with less struggle, if we have the help and advice of caring and wise mentors and support. The support could be simply in the form of a friend or colleague that has your interest at heart and gives you encouragement. Knowing you have someone that cares for what you are endeavouring to do, can elicit your courage to committo it and boost your motivation if the going gets tough.

The leap of faith shown in the photo doesn’t appear to be reckless or frivolous. It isn’t an act of ‘blind faith’ where no thought was given to the purpose, means, or possible outcomes. Being courageous and taking risks doesn’t necessarily equate to a lack of consideration and responsibility. I’m quite sure the two in this photo had a definite purpose, planned and prepared for their journey, and had a strong expectation of success. Having the courage to take on new and unfamiliar challenges doesn’t mean you won’t be nervous or even very scared. This is where mentoring and having a prepared plan can be of great help. Having a mentor to point out the challenges and plan for them, can help raise your expectations of success and thus reduce the fear factor. Having a little adrenaline though can keep you alert and ‘on your toes’. Complacency is a hidden danger.

So how does this relate to people with an alcohol dependence?

Everything about this photo could be applied to someone with an alcohol dependence / alcohol addiction. For those that are an alcoholic, or have been dependent on alcohol for many years, it is very difficult to imagine life without it. Their social life, relaxation, daily routines and emotional ‘support’ all are habitually linked to drinking alcohol. To contemplate a life without drinking alcohol can be like sailing into uncharted waters (and perhaps dropping off the edge of the earth). It will take significant courage to take the ‘leap of faith’ that life will be actually better, not worse than it is now. It is an unknown risk that many don’t find the courage to take.

However, to get to the summit of their potential, they will have to climb that mountain, jump some crevasses and knock some skin off their hands and knees along the way. Just like in the photo at the top, quitting alcohol shouldn’t be attempted recklessly without thoughtful planning and preparation. For those without unyielding commitment, failures to stop drinking can be disheartening and lead to a lack of motivation and unwillingness to re-attempt. The help of a guide who has travelled that mountainous route before is a great idea, so they can help you plan and avoid some of the more arduous challenges along the way. Your support person (or team) can help you get there quicker with less scrapes and bruises.

The fact is, you will never be the best you can be in whatever your endeavours in life are, while you have an alcohol dependence or on any external substance. You will never live your life to the fullest and experience your full potential in your career, business, sport, hobbies or relationships. If you are persevering with an alcohol dependence look within yourself and find the courage that is there and take the leap to a better life. My Alcohemy alcohol treatment program can certainly help with that. Be the Master of your fate; the Captain of your soul.

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  1. I find it interesting that in a blog about courage you mention commitment twice in bold letters: “elicit your courage to commit” and “unyielding commitment.” I believe commitment does take courage, because you are committing to something that you know is a noble goal and is the right one for you but are not sure of the challenges along the way and how strong you might be to work through them. There are all kinds of commitment challenges that we face in life–commitment to marriage, commitment to raising our children, commitment to a cause worth fighting for. Commitment to leading a life free of alcohol in the face of a culture and marketplace that is vying for you to drink can be daunting, but as David says here when you have “guide” to steer you through the process it makes all the difference.

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