If you’re going to make a New Year’s resolution, let it be to make conscious acts of courage whenever possible.

Courage is not an absence of fear, instead, it’s a willingness to feel the fear and take action anyway.  It’s the ability to make tough choices, even when they are unpopular. Courage is always forward-thinking. It embraces action and is always authentic. Courage is a sign of growth. And it is courage that begets self-esteem.

Most people want to be liked, myself included. I want people to say nice things about me. I want people to be impressed with my accomplishments. In fact, I’ve spent most of my life trying to get people to like me, and much of this has been to my detriment.

Yet through the grace of God and a lot of hard work over the past 40 years, I am finally in a place where my opinion of me matters more than anyone else’s opinion of me.

Being selfish isn’t always bad

Don’t get me wrong; there are many short-term benefits to playing the popularity game. When we deny ourselves in order to please others, we are touted as good team players. We are celebrated for being gracious, embraced for being selfless. We are liked by everyone, or so it appears.

And there are certain moments when it’s good to put the needs of others above our own, but not when it comes at the cost of self-love. You see, we view “selfish” as a bad word, and we tend to stay away from acts that label us as so.

However, the choice to care for your own needs in pivotal moments of your life is where self-esteem comes from. And as your self-esteem grows, your ability to take ownership of “YOU” not only grows but prepares you to reach your full potential.

Courage is an Esteemable Act

When you choose to take courageous action, you perform an “Esteemable Act”. You lay a foundation of courage, and you take a step of boldness. The more you do this, the more you’ll understand who you are and what you are capable of.

This kind of courage requires sacrifice, taking risks, and can even result in a few failures. But the results are worth the investment. Your relationships will be healthier and you’ll be more open to new opportunities that can ultimately change the trajectory of your life.

Let’s be courageous, friends. I dare you to enter this new year, this new decade with hopes of turning Esteemable Acts into the new fad diet, the new resolution. The world will certainly be better off for it—and so will you!

Francine D. Ward

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Francine D. Ward
Attorney-At-Law, Author, Speaker

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