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Step into Living Courageously

You have probably heard it too: a friend or family member who tells you to “have courage,” “face reality,” “look the situation straight in the eye,” and other advice like that. And, like millions of other people, you have probably had a real hard time putting that advice into practice. Let’s face it, when life becomes difficult, it’s really hard to take that first step of finding the courage to do something about it.

        Why is that? Why do we feel like running when life’s situations are becoming too hard to deal with? What makes us shy away from taking chances or grabbing opportunities? It’s fear. It’s there and it’s real. Fear makes us pull in our flippers because “we may fail” or think that “it won’t work out anyway.”

        Fear is not always a bad thing—it keeps us alive, warning us of dangers. But fear can also become a virus that eats away at our self-determinism, our goals and dreams—even our will to live. That type of fear is toxic for it eventually can defeat you. Unfortunately, trying to “control your fears” doesn’t work and only fuels anxiety. So, what do we do?

1. Identify Your Own Fears. Recognition is the most fundamental step to self-betterment. If you know what you are afraid of, you can do something about it. And that’s the start of living courageously.

2. Define Your Core Values. Define what you hold dear and what gives meaning and direction to your life. Such values can include love, belonging, achieving your goals, a moral compass. Knowing and living by your core values gives you the confidence to say no to fear and yes to life — you know who you are, what is important to you, and where you are going.

3. Surround Yourself with Positive People. Phase out the people that try to put you down, are negative about life and don’t believe in you. This will help you stay positive yourself.

4. Live in the Present. Fear is powerful because it lives in our imagination and is largely based on past experiences. It causes us to predict a future that doesn’t exist. This is what keeps us stuck. To break the grip of fear, focus on what is “now”—the present moment. Experiencing the “now” actually prepares us for the future. This is the essence of mindfulness, which is “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”

5. Meditation helps increase your mindfulness and sense of the present. There are many styles of meditation. Find the style that resonates the most with you and gives you the most benefits.

        Practice is the key. The more you practice these steps, the more life you will feel as a new reality unfolds for you. Stay focused, and live the life you were born to live—courageously.

Vladimir Gashinsky, DDS, “aka” Dr. G, provides holistic and biological dentistry with surgical expertise through his private practice in Millburn, New Jersey. Holistic Dental Center is located at 91 Millburn Ave., Millburn. For information, call 973-457-4688 or visit HolisticDentalCenterNJ.com.

 

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