Courage-or-not is a Now-Next issue

Just two integrities solve all problems of suffering

AskDwightHow has several toolkits, including the CCC toolkit (all about courage). Fundamentally, however, having a great life comes down to creating and maintaining just two types of integrity: Now-Next integrity and Oneself-Others integrity.

Choosing courage-or-not is a Now-Next issue

The reason that "courage" has its own toolkit is because the impact that choosing it or not has on your life is huge. Nevertheless, the issue of choosing courage-or-not is a special sub-category of Now-Next integrity.

Choosing courage involves putting attention on having a happier future, whereas not choosing courage puts attention on avoiding the discomfort of feeling fear now. And, just as the Now-Next issue is not a right-wrong issue, whether you choose courage or not is neither right nor wrong. 

Special tools that help resolve the Now-Next conflict when dealing with the issue of fear and courage

Many of the tools inside the NNI toolkit are also helpful in resolving a courage-or-not issue. We'll review some of those in a moment. First let's look at the primary tools for addressing the issue that the idea of courage often presents us with.

Undoing fear

To address Now's concern of having to go-through-the-fear if we choose courage, we use the undoing fear process. Almost always, this will reduce, if not eliminate, most of the discomfort we associate with fear. In addition it will give us (our Now) an added sense of energy and even confidence in being willing to address whatever our Next wants us to do in choosing courage.

But there's more...

Undoing fear is just the first step in the four steps of choosing courage

Step #2 is getting in touch with that child within you (which, in this case, is the equivalent of getting in touch with your Now). Say to that child, "I can see and feel that you're frightened. It's okay to feel frightened. You've already chosen courage to embrace the energy of our fear and let it flow. That's great. I'm so admiring of you for that! If you're now open to taking the action before us, that would be amazing also. But, as you know, it's up to you. I will respect whatever you choose. What's your choice?" You continue to express this in ways until you can feel that Your-Child fully gets your appreciation and admiration. Of course, when she or he gets it, then you get it.

If Your-Child is willing, then you take the third step, whether it's an action (like making a request) or a non-action (like keeping your mouth shut). That's step #3.

Step #4 is getting back in touch with Your-Child. Say to him or her, regardless of the outcome of your action, "I'm amazed and inspired by your choice of courage here! You fill me with gratitude." Again, continue doing that until Your-Child gets it. If you didn't get the desired result and Your-Child is disappointed, then tell him or her it's okay to be disappointed. And the most important thing was that they choose courage.

By practicing these four steps of choosing courage, it continually gets easier for your Now to be willing (and even eager) to choose courage.

Other Now-Next tools that are especially and often helpful in addressing the courage-or-not issue

Distinguish actions from results Just as focusing on the actions/process instead of results is usually more effective, focusing on choosing courage as primary over results is also more effective.

Buffers Having buffers in your life (especially time buffers) often reduces fear throughout your day, even though at the time you're setting up your day and you set aside time for buffers, more fear may be stimulated.

Do it badly By lowering our standards our Now is likely to be less frightened to taking action.

Five-minute trial By asking Now to experiment with a shorter time, less fear may be stimulated.

Going with "good enough" Again, by lowering our standards, Now is less likely be frightened.

Kick starting a mental habit This can be used to ensure we ask questions that look for opportunities to choose courage.

Step by step By finding a "smaller" action that stimulates less fear, our Now is more likely to want to participate.

Turnabouts Similar to the five-minute trial, by limiting the amount of time when fear is stimulated, then Now is more likely to engage with what Next wants.

Under promising This often helps to reduce the fear that Now feels later, even though it can stimulate fear at the time that you decide to under promise to yourself or to others.

Review the NNI toolkit. Other contexts and tools may be supportive in creating Now-Next integrity regarding choosing courage-or-not.

Some Oneself-Others integrity tools can assist in making choosing courage easier

Even though choosing courage-or-not is fundamentally a Now-Next issue, since much of our fear relates to our relationships with others, the OOI toolkit is quite relevant.

Specifically, check out Trust: a fundamental issue, Are you messing in other's business, Are you offended when others don't trust you?, Courage to be accommodating, Courage to be assertive, How to have a great conversation with anyone, How you occur for others, Lost in maybe-maybe land, Not caring what others think?, Partnership Conversation, Saying "no", Under promising, Undoing defensiveness, and Undoing guilt.