Stay safe. We’ve heard it hundreds of times in the past 18 months. Each time I felt an inner conflict – I believed the message was true and I also wondered what the long-term effect would be of hearing this message over and over again. Stay safe.
I’m particularly sensitive to the message “stay safe”. I spent a lot of my younger years trying to avoid fear and, in a sense, trying to “stay safe”. There wasn’t any particular situation I needed to stay safe from all those years ago, only the anxious feeling that I was trying to avoid. While this technique helped me to avoid fear, it also made my life feel small because there was so much I didn’t allow myself to do. The cost was huge. In the end, I knew something had to change. Realizing I didn’t want to live a small life was my invitation to a new way.
There are real situations, external things, that need us to take action to protect ourselves. The pandemic is a good example of that. There are times we’ve needed to stay home or wear a mask and keep our distance when going out. Staying safe in situations like these is entirely appropriate. It is about protecting ourselves from an external threat. I wondered (and worried a bit if I’m honest) as I heard the message to “stay safe” countless times if I would take on board once again this constant feeling of being unsafe. I wondered how it might affect me when the threat of the pandemic dissipated, would I still feel like I needed to stay safe? This is about feeling threatened, even when the risk is minimal or non-existent. Has the stay safe message become part of our collective psyche to such an extent that we will continue to try to protect ourselves even when the threat is no longer present?
When do we start increasing our tolerance for risk?
Several weeks back, I heard someone use the term Covid-brave. She was starting to do things that wouldn’t have felt brave pre-pandemic but now felt like they required some courage. She was being Covid-brave. I’ve been working on my Covid-brave activities over the last weeks – meeting some friends face to face, coaching in person, making the switch from online church to attending in person, planning to travel.
Covid-brave is about finding those things that feel like they matter and even though they feel a bit scary and unnatural after lengthy restrictions, finding a way to do them anyway. Covid-brave is a call for courage not in doing big, bold things, but a call for the kind of ordinary, everyday courage that allows you to expand your life.
This Week’s Photos
Figuring out what it means to be Covid-brave feels like personal growth. This week’s photos are in honour of growth.
If you’re not physically fit, you’d feel physical stress as you climb a steep hill. If you’re not mentally fit, you’d feel mental stress, such as anxiety, frustration, or unhappiness, as you handle life’s great challenges.
I will be running another 6-week mental fitness course starting on August 14th. Connect with me before August 7th if you want to register or get more information. Here are some of the things the latest cohort said about the course.
- I loved the program! You have the ability to pick up on what we needed to hear without knowing us very well and instill the confidence to just try it.
- I feel a lot more confident and at ease. I realize my problem was never confidence, it was courage. This was a great experience.
- It’s been truly life-changing! Thank you. I’ve learned to be kinder to myself and others.
- I feel happier, more confident and freer. I’ve learned to get out of my own head. I’ve rediscovered that I am stronger than I thought I was.
- This was a really good experience!
You can find out more about the 6-week mental fitness course here.