Curious about women and courage, everyday courage or how to apply courageous leadership--this is the blog for you. No sensational stories, heroism or drama, just the understanding of how to apply courage at work or in your personal life. There is a direct correlation between your success quotient and your courage quotient. What would you do right now if you had "unlimited courage?" Do you have courage?

Expectations—A Courage Buster

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In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy stumbled along the Yellow Brick Road with her three friends and Toto only to learPrevent Expectations that Undermine Couragen at the end of her journey that she had had the power to fulfill her dream all along. Are you stumbling along a career path because of pre-defined expectations? Have you fallen asleep in the poppy field? Will you take time for self-reflection—to dwell deeply upon what you might stand for and love? Is conscious courage development your endgame?

The word “courage” comes from the French word corage, meaning “heart and spirit.” So courage is really about acting from your heart and spirit — from the center of your being — the true identity hidden beneath the false self of the ego. By delving into the heart and spirit of our true identities, we begin to recognize our innate courage as well as the ego’s insidious control mechanisms in the form of expectations, which capitalize on fear and insecurity. As we recognize the fears that the ego uses to justify its self-importance, we undermine the ego’s power to dominate our lives and begin to manifest our true identities.

Running to the Future

Vickie shared how expectations had her constantly running.  If you are unemployed, you may operate like Vickie. She always started her day with: “What do I have to do today to get the results I want?” The mere action of “doing something” fosters the belief that what you do generates results. Vickie was running to the future (and away from the present). Does this sound familiar? Eventually, Vickie realized that trying to “get somewhere” left her drained emotionally, spiritually and energetically. She finally admitted, “Absolutely nothing resulted! Sometimes the more you chase things, the farther away from you they go.”

Take a moment to reflect on your thought process, the expectations you hold for your actions, and about why you do what you do. Here are two examples: You send out a marketing letter with the hope you will receive a response that leads to a nice contract. Expected result: the contract (or visibility) you have been waiting for. You mail your resume with a great cover letter, knowing that you are the perfect fit for this opportunity. Expected result: a phone call requesting the interview that lands you the job and change you wish for.

Observe your thoughts in relationship to your actions, then identify the expectations that you bring to those actions. Realizing that expectations saddle our actions with unnecessary emotional and mental baggage, we can begin to free ourselves from all that extra weight. We can still execute what needs to be done, but without projecting our expectations onto those actions—how the outcome will comfort, change or advance our lives—we free ourselves to accomplish much more while expending less energy.

Expectations

Eckhart Tolle clarifies this human condition in A New Earth, “When you no longer have such expectations, all self-created suffering comes to an end.” With courage, meditation and a big dose of Spiritual Intelligence (SQ)*, I learned how my expectations created my distress and prolonged my suffering. I was able to move beyond my expectations only through the sheer commitment of cultivating contemplation in the form of silence. The outcome: inner peace.

People have different projections and aversions to the concept of silence through meditation, and many people find it difficult. Jon Kabat-Zinn writes in Wherever You Go There You Are “ People say they can’t meditate, what they really mean is that they won’t make the time for it, or that when they try, they don’t like what happens. It isn’t what they are looking for or hoping for. It doesn’t fulfill their expectations. So maybe they should try again, this time letting go of their expectations and just watching.”

How do you deal with disappointments at work when your expectations have not been filled? Wouldn’t you prefer to avoid disappointment altogether? Most people say, ‘I don’t want to work that hard. I don’t want to be self-disciplined, I don’t want to sacrifice. Complaining (one of eight courage busters) is easier. I want a courage pill!” The fact is you cannot learn courage by doing something you already know.

* Spiritual Intelligence (SQ): SQ is secular spirituality; is an innate capability that we can learn to use based on experience not beliefs. Physicist Danah Zohar’s research defines courage as one of the levels of Spiritual Intelligence (SQ) or wisdom. She writes in SQ, Spiritual Intelligence, the Ultimate Intelligence, “To have high SQ is to be able to use the spiritual to bring greater context and meaning to living a richer and more meaningful life, to achieve a sense of personal wholeness, purpose and direction.”

Sandra Ford Walston is known as The Courage Expertand innovator of StuckThinking™. Featured on the speaker circuit as witty, provocative, concrete and insightful, she has sparked positive change in the lives of thousands of leaders each year. She found that there is a direct correlation between your success quotient and your courage quotient.

She is the internationally published author of bestseller COURAGEThe Heart and Spirit of Every Woman, the follow-up book to COURAGE,The COURAGE Difference at Work: A Unique Success Guide for Women (formerlySTUCK) and FACE IT! 12 Courageous Actions Bring Success at Work and Beyond. All three books are on based 20 years of original courage research. She is certified in the Enneagram and MBTI® and she is a Newfield Network coach. Please visitwww.sandrawalston.com.

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Sandra Ford Walston, The Courage Expert and innovator of StuckThinking™, is an international speaker and author, human potential consultant, corporate trainer and certified coach. Sandra’s expertise allows her to focus on the tricks and traps of the human condition through recognizing and interpreting courage behaviors and courageous leadership styles.


 


Featured on the speaker circuit as witty, provocative, concrete and insightful, she has sparked positive change in the lives of thousands of leaders each year. Sandra also provides skills-based programs for some of the most respected public and private blue-chip businesses and organizations in the world, such as IBM, Caterpillar, Inc., Institute of Internal Auditors, Hensel Phelps, Wide Open West, Agrium, Inc., Virginia Commonwealth University, Xanterra Parks & Resorts®, Procter and Gamble, Hitachi Consulting, US Bank, Healthcare Association of New York State, Institute of Management Accountants, and Delta Kappa Gamma International Society.


 


The internationally published author of bestseller COURAGE The Heart and Spirit of Every Woman and an honored author selected for Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, Sandra facilitates individuals and groups to discover the power and inspiration of their everyday courage.


 


The COURAGE Difference at Work: A Unique Success Guide for Women, Sandra’s follow-up book to COURAGE, is directed at any woman, regardless of title or credentials, who wishes to grow professionally by introducing courage actions at work. Her third book, FACE IT! 12 Courageous Actions that Bring Success at Work and Beyond confirms that what holds you back on the job is the same as what hinders achievement—the reluctance to face and live a courageous life. Sandra is published in magazines such as Chief Learning Officer, Training & Development, HR Matters, Malaysia, and Strategic Finance.


 


Sandra is a certified Newfield Network coach and certified to administer and interpret the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® along with the Enneagram. She also instructs at the University of Denver.


 


She can be reached at www.sandrawalston.com where she posts a courage blog and courage newsletter.

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