Think You Lack Courage? Here’s What You Need To Know

how to be brave
Courage is the ability to do something, even though it might appear frightening at first. Do you ever read biographies of amazing people and feel in awe of what they have done? Does that awe sometimes make you feel a little despondent because you don’t believe you could be so brave, or accomplish so much despite the obstacles? Do you ever feel your life would be better if you could just muster up a little more courage to pursue your dreams or exit a poor situation?  Do you want to be Dorothy but feel like the Cowardly Lion?

If so, a little more insight into these human qualities may help you to access them. We all have courage inside of us. It is as human as the blood that courses through our veins. Courage is like an inner reservoir we can draw on when we need to, although many of us only discover our courage when we are in a tough situation or someone we love is in danger. Bravery, on the other hand is the action, behaviour or outcome of courage; it’s the active facing of our fears so we can step into the unknown, or even into the known!

If you lack courage, here are my thoughts as a virtual life coach and therapist on what you need to know. 

Courage – It’s Not What You Think

Perhaps the biggest hurdle we have to navigate to access our courage is identifying that we’ve been hoodwinked by TV, film and the media. They make us believe that bravery and courage are only required for ‘big’ acts: climbing mountains or rescuing small children from burning buildings. The courage and bravery we see on TV, or hear about on the nightly news, often creates an impossibly high bar that we see as relevant to ‘other people’ living ‘other lives’.

The truth is courage is much less dramatic. Anything that makes you feel slightly scared – even if it’s getting a spider out the bathroom without just killing it – will require courage, especially if you hate spiders! Learning to ski in your forties because your kids enjoyed a school trip and want to go with you this time requires a little courage. Depending on your personality, you may need to call on some bravery to meet new people or attend an interview.

Embrace Your Fear

how to embrace fear

I was skiing recently in the Alps and was on a ski lift going up the mountain. Next to me was Frasier, who was six years old and part of a ski school. We were chatting and I said, “Frasier, if I get scared at the top of the hill what would your advice be to me?” He thought about it for a minute, then turned to me and said, “Always face your fear!” Frasier was only six, but that’s great advice.

We are creatures of habit and we generally don’t like change that much. Change, by definition, is moving from something that’s known to something that’s unknown. Most of us prefer the known because there are no surprises there; it’s our comfort zone. But there is also no growth in the comfort zone. If we are to harness the power of courage to face difficult situations and make constructive change, we need to be willing to move into the challenge zone.

You Need To Exit Your Comfort Zone

how to have more courage
If you are constantly in your comfort zone, how fulfilled do you feel? Sure, it’s a nice safe (some would say boring) place, but are you really doing what you want to do and being who you want to be if you are permanently ‘stationed’ there? To move into the next zone, we need to access the courage to push out beyond our comfort zone and into the challenge zone. But that push doesn’t need to move us into the panic zone. If you are spending too much time in the panic zone, it means you aren’t in control of what you are doing. The panic zone is almost as immobilising as the comfort zone, only it’s fear not comfort that’s driving the bus! 

The key with change is incremental ‘stretch change’ that pushes you past what’s comfortable and easy, but not into being overwhelmed, fearful and panicked. Bring yourself back into what you know and/or what you need to do to find your own inner resources to fuel and power yourself in the challenge zone. Embrace the challenge! The challenge zone is where we learn, grow and develop as human beings. It’s where we find the impossible possible, and surprise ourselves by the strength of our convictions and the courage we can muster to see them through.

Start with small things that push you out of your comfort zone for a few minutes. The more you embrace the challenge zone as a playground for your own development, the braver you will become, and the easier courage will be to muster when you need it.

Find Out More

If you find you lack courage in certain situations, I hope the above advice has been helpful. Remember, if you would like any help or advice please get in touch. I offer virtual life coach sessions, and help my clients with a variety of issues. These sessions are available to international clients as well as those based in the UK. 

Are you in need of calm and peace? Over 10,000 people have benefited from Paula Meir’s Hypnosis, so why not give it a try? Now with 50% off when you use the code CALMANDPEACE50


5 Ways To Change Your Life

Six years ago I made a decision which changed the course of my life. 

I gave up my ‘big’ corporate job which had seen me flying all over the world, supporting and advising key executives, and generally trying to get people to do the right thing for themselves and the business. I constantly put the business first and was in a permanent state of stress. My health was suffering, but, as a single parent bringing up two boys I felt I had no choice but to stick with it. Then, one day, in a meeting room everything changed.

The global business where I worked was steeped in difficult politics, and there was blame and bad behaviour everywhere you looked. The values that I live and work by were being compromised daily, especially how people were treating each other and it got too much to bear. On this particular day, in this particular meeting, something inside of me switched and I heard a voice deep within say “you are done”. 

I’d reached a pain point which meant I could no longer go on.  

So I didn’t. I resigned from my job, without another job to go to and did something I had always wanted to do. Set up my own business. I’d been in the ‘people’ game for the best part of 25 years and knew I could use my skills too help people and businesses make better decisions for themselves and others. 

Don’t get me wrong. This was far from an easy decision. Like most people I had a mortgage and all the usual commitments that accompany being a single parent, but the pain of staying on the corporate treadmill became too much to bear. 

I completely re-evaluated my life.  

My journey continues, but now I run a successful wellbeing clinic and consultancy, where I help people become better versions of themselves. And in 2017, I wrote my first book “Your Life, Your Way”. I am living proof that you CAN make a positive change in your life. So here are x steps that I took to help me make the change in my life.

So how can you do the same?

Be Honest With Yourself

Being honest with yourself about your current situation, is SO important. When many of my clients and patients first walk into my consulting room I always encourage them to be honest with themselves about the context of their lives. It’s so easy to ignore warning signs (physically and mentally) that deep down we know exist, and it’s I realise it’s sometimes much easier just to ‘carry on’ hoping things will change. However, I can guarantee that if this is the case then your happiness is being compromised by something which is in your power to change. Some people think that what the past has created for them and the experiences associated with that is the best they are ever going to get. I am telling you there is much more life and joy waiting for you than you realise. 

Look At The Bigger Picture

In my course “Five Weeks to Freedom” I encourage people to look objectively at everything which influences and impacts their life. Their environment, work, relationships, family, friends, health and habits and anything else that provides their  map of the world in the present.  

Surround Yourself With Cheerleaders

One of our biggest inhibitors to change is….. other people! As human beings we hate change. We are hard wired to maintain the status quo. Doing the same thing day in day out, surrounding ourselves by the same people, doing the same things, is something which gives us comfort and security. Therefore, it’s not too surprising that when you announce you are going to make a major change in your life some people won’t like it. You play a role in their life story. If they see that role changing it will disturb them. A true friend is a cheer leader. Someone who will support you through whatever change you desire to build yourself a happier, successful, and more fulfilled life. Start to remove the naysayers out of your life, most of the time their reactions will be about them and not you. You don’t need them, they are like vampires, and will suck the positivity energy out of your soul!

Be Prepared To Make Big Decisions

Every day we make decisions, even if we don’t decide to do something that is STILL a decision!. Most of this decision making takes place in our sub-conscious. For example: have you every driven to work and not noticed the journey? Much of our life is operated on ‘automatic pilot’. So, when a decision comes along which is going to make a fundamental difference to all those sub-conscious decisions then this is going to make us feel a little funky. Changing jobs, houses, relationships are all huge decisions that often involve a radical change in our daily story of who we are and what we do. And, it is often the fear of change, and the thought of impacting lots of areas of our life which moves us away from making the big decisions which will, ultimately, lead us to greater happiness. 

Trust Your Instincts

The human brain is a remarkable organ. This complex piece of machinery is designed to undertake many complex tasks every second of every day. But there is one thing it does exceptionally well: wherever possible it keeps us safe. Our human instincts have evolved over many thousands of years, but the instincts which keep us safe are pretty much the same as they were when we were living in caves. When something isn’t ‘right’, we know it, it’s our intuition kicking in. Deep down we know when we are faced with a situation which doesn’t feel right. And the same goes for where we are in our lives at any particular stage. You know if you aren’t happy in a relationship, job, or particular situation. Your body and mind will be telling you. You may feel in a constant state of stress, you may have trouble sleeping, perhaps you are drinking little too much, or you are seeking pleasure through other addictive behaviours. These are all ways in which the brain is telling you that something isn’t right. Listen to your body and your brain, and if something isn’t right… it’s time to make a change.

To Sum Up

Following these five steps will definitely start you on a path where you can shift your thinking and move away from the story of your current situation. I do understand how hard changing a situation can be, especially when it presents seemingly unsurmountable challenges. But, I promise you, it can be done. I am living proof of that!  

If you want a little more information or help in understanding how you can make a change why not register for my latest webinar: Finding your purpose, living your change. It’s completely free and will give you some valuable tips on making those changes in your life that will bring you happiness and success (both at home and at work!). 

Let me leave you with this thought: maintaining the status quo, putting on a brave face, smiling for the camera when you really want to weep, is no way to live, it is robbing you of the love, joy, accomplishment and amazing future you deserve.….today! Now! 


What Is Imposter Syndrome?

How to overcome imposter syndrome
Do you ever feel unsure of yourself? Like a failure? Do you ever wish you had more confidence? Do you put yourself down in front of others or resent other people’s success? Do you often find yourself saying “yes” to requests when you really want to say no? Are you constantly worrying about something, but don’t do anything to deal with what you’re worrying about? You could have imposter syndrome.

If so, have you ever wondered what would you do if you believed you could not fail? What would you try? Are there things in your life you’d like to change, or new adventures you’d like to pursue, but you’re too scared to take the plunge? If so, then your self-esteem and confidence may need a boost. Here’s my top tips to help you.

How To Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome
Imposter syndrome is closely related with our self esteem and confidence. In fact,  most of us have some kind of confidence issue. Some people may be confident about the way they look, for example, but not about their intellect, or vice versa. Perhaps you are confident about a particular skill set, but that confidence doesn’t translate to relationships or communication skills.

No one is perfect. But we live in a world that tells us we should be. We are reminded daily what we should and shouldn’t look like. What our lives would include if we were “successful”. Social media, the press and TV all provide unrealistic, imaginary benchmarks for us to judge ourselves against.

When it comes to self-esteem and confidence there are some unusual paradoxes. On one hand, we are often told to behave “as if ”. In other words: While confidence is an internal belief about our abilities in a certain area, even if those beliefs are not rock-solid we can pretend to be confident. In turn, actually makes us feel more confident. It’s a physiological as much as a mental thing.

Why “Fake it ’til you make” Doesn’t Make You A Fake

imposter syndrome
You may have heard the statement “projection is perception”. In other words, what we project to the world is how other people will perceive us, whether that projection is true or not. So even if we don’t feel strong and self-assured, we can demonstrate that assuredness outwardly. As long as we don’t go overboard into arrogance, we can convince ourselves and others that we are confident.

However, the flip side (and, hence, the paradox) is something called the “imposter syndrome”. If we constantly pretend to be more confident than we feel, but don’t learn strategies to increase our genuine sense of confidence and assimilate our learning to move from “faking it” to “making it”, we can end up feeling like a fraud. It is also something experienced by high-achieving individuals who are unable to internalise their accomplishments. Those who live with the persistent fear of being “found out”. Women are particularly adept at the imposter syndrome.

Imposter Syndrome In The Workplace

How to be successful at work
Too frequently, women in highly demanding jobs believe they got there by luck, or some other kind of subterfuge, and feel they have to be better than their male peers. However, imposter syndrome is certainly not an exclusively female issue, as plenty of men have it too. First identified by clinical psychologists Suzanne Imes, PhD, and Pauline Rose Clance, PhD, in 1978, imposter syndrome is something I come across frequently in my work as an executive coach.

It can arise when someone is promoted into a role they don’t feel worthy of, or they land a job they never dreamed they would actually get. Or they enter a relationship with someone they believe is “out of their league”. Secretly, they believe that they are not intelligent/creative/attractive/likeable enough to be in the position they find themselves. As a result, it’s only a matter of time before they get exposed, marched off the premises or dumped for being the imposter they believe they are.

Everyone Feels Like An Imposter Sometimes

Paula Meir's new book Your Life Your Way

When it comes to imposter syndrome, it’s important to note that all of us feel this way from time to time. If we are learning new skills on the job or flying by the seat of our pants, it’s absolutely normal to feel out of our depth. But that shouldn’t stop us stepping out of our comfort zone.

If you find yourself feeling a fraud, remind yourself of the existence of the imposter syndrome and just how common it is. Also, take the time to remind yourself just how hard you have worked and how many times you have done a good job, been successful or helped others be successful. Or how much you bring to your relationship.

We don’t always know what we are doing – and that’s fine! We still need to do new things, embark on new relationships, take new opportunities and experiment with life.

Want to learn more about imposter syndrome? My latest book Your Life Your Way contains plenty of practical tips, advice, and strategies for living your life more fully and confidently.