What's the bravest thing you could do?
The bravest thing answers that little voice asking, what if...What will they think or say, what if it all falls apart, what if I'm wrong, what if I fail? with Then what? What if it works? What if I grow? What if I must? And what if it doesn’t matter in the end? I’m here for the doing.
This might make you bold and brazen, all spotlights and hurdles and crossing oceans.
Or it could lead you to the soft and slow of life, art and tea afternoons, naps by the fire, and puttering in the yard.
It’s just as brave to do less as it is to dive in, for who’s to say what is less and what is more when we’re talking about mining the force of life? (Only you.)
Hi, I'm Leslie Ralph, author of There, I Might Find Peace and How to Have Your Back: Simple Instructions for Loving Yourself through the Ups and Downs of Life.
I’m a psychologist who writes for people seeking tenderness and healing, the ones who want to bring the light back into their lives and love themselves unconditionally.
After 10+ years specializing in meeting anxiety with mindfulness and self-compassion, I've learned a few things about fear and courage. Maybe you can relate...
Fear's a funny thing.
It's a messenger about danger, threat, loss. It tells you no, stop wait, get out of there, and it'll make your world so small if you let it.
Fear seeks safety - for you, for it, and for the things you cherish most. It's painful and annoying sometimes, and we forget that deep down, it's also about being happy. Of course it is. We all want to feel happy, but as a society, we’ve forgotten what that really means.
Have you noticed the pressure we're under?
There's so much emphasis on keeping up, doing more, fitting in, competing, comparing, no regrets. We're so afraid of missing out but also of getting it wrong. That fear binds us. Act now, act fast, do it all, but...don't make a mistake. Make the choices that will guarantee your forever happiness. Make the choice that will please everyone.
Who wouldn't be afraid?
Here, I'll show you what I mean. I found these questions online:
Do you hear anyone you know in these questions? Maybe someone you love? Or yourself?
We carry around so many fears. Even when we feel "fine," fear can wind its way through our day, influencing our decisions and actions. It influences the way we think about who we are, how the world works, and where we fit in to it all.
On the surface, these fears might look different. We've got the fear of failure, fear of being alone, fear of the future. Deep down, it's all the same.
Those questions that fear asks? What they're really interested in is...
And beneath that...
Do you see how fear tries so hard to safeguard your happiness?
We're all searching for peace, happiness, and freedom from suffering. How much compassion could you have for yourself or others if you remembered this one thing?
The paradox in it all is that it’s okay to be afraid. It’s just that when we act from a fearful place, we end up avoiding or escaping anything that might cause us harm.
Avoidance and escape dress up in so many ways that we're not always aware of what's going on. We might freeze, give up, give in, fight, and overdo it. No matter what color it wears, it’s all about avoiding the threats and protecting what we desire. Sometimes the threat is on the outside, often it’s within ourselves.
While gathering examples of fear, one of the answers to these questions caught my eye. This was the top response to a question on procrastination. It's a perfect example of the critical messages we internalize.
The question was, "Why do I procrastinate on everything?"
What's your gut reaction to this? Give yourself a moment to let the answer sink in.
Sure, making a to-do list is a great idea, but I have a hard time believing that the person asking why they procrastinate has never thought of it.
I see this all the time in my clinical work. Clients come in with questions like this when the common sense answers don't get them anywhere. What do you do when your to-do list fails you?
Our knee-jerk reaction is judgment, of others and ourselves. Here, it's attributing procrastination to laziness and lack of discipline.
The person answering this aptly points out that they don't have much information, so they "do the guesswork." What they arrive at is a judgment and, frankly, incorrect.
Could we all learn how to be more disciplined? I guess. But discipline's not the problem here. This is a matter of awareness and understanding.
Procrastination tells us about what we want to avoid and what we intuitively know. It tells us how we're feeling now, what we don't want to experience, and what we anticipate an action will bring. It's so informative and a beautiful opportunity for growth and healing.
We've developed this idea, though, that procrastination (aka avoidance) is weakness. We say the same thing about fear.
There's a story we tell on repeat about worth or strength coming from the biggest, boldest, most out-there massive action. In this story, we must eliminate weakness. I used to tell this story.
Today, I tell the story of leaning in, listening to our fears and pains, and moving in the direction aligned with what matters most. To me, this is the bravest thing one could do.
A Class for Courage Lite is all about cultivating a different, more compassionate perspective on fear. I took apart my flagship course, A Class for Courage, and pulled out all the lessons that target the spirit of healing, the myths that foster avoidance and self-doubt, and the practices that help you develop a new awareness of and response to fear and worry.
It's streamlined and laser-focused on healing the pattern of avoidance.
A Class for Courage Lite is not about go big or go home. It's about returning to your true home. It's not about hustle or hacks but heart and healing. Not about massive action but aligned and loving action. In this class, you'll restore myth to truth, heal your stuck patterns, and get ready to take action in a new way.
The material in this course is based on my years as an anxiety specialist and positive psychology, mindfulness, and self-compassion teacher. And these are the steps I come back to in my own life when I hear that little voice of fear calling my name.
Here’s what's inside:
A Class for Courage Lite is completely self-paced. You'll get access to all the course materials, including lessons in video and audio format and a luscious workbook as soon as you enroll. Take it at your own speed and return to it whenever you need a tune-up. Everything's downloadable for lifetime, on-the-go access.
In A Class for Courage Lite, you'll learn...
- The purpose of fear and why it isn’t the problem.
- The needs and desires we all share. How are you meeting yours?
- The meaning and feeling of authentic courage.
- The healing attitude that relieves suffering and transforms our fear-based habits.
- How to make sense of the things you fear. Imagine understanding even your most confusing fears.
- Two myths that keep us living in fear and how to restore them to truth.
- Exercises for releasing your need for control, perfection, and certainty and changing the mindset that keeps you stuck in defense mode.
- Three patterns of action and reaction that can move you toward or away from your desires (and how to align them all with courage and love).
- How to shift your focus from what scares you to what you desire.
- Strategies for making the changes you’ve been waiting for, even if you’ve been putting them off for the “perfect time.”
A Class for Courage Lite comes with:
- Class lessons in both video and audio format. Choose how you learn best. There are over 1.5 hours of lessons in the class.
- A 100-page digital workbook filled with exercises and quizzes, thought-provoking journal prompts, and powerful affirmations. Put the lessons into practice right away.
- Love Called Me Forward audio recording. It’s a story about fear, love, and stepping into the unknown.
- Tapping for Courageous Transformation Emotional Freedom Technique video and script. An uplifting EFT exercise for believing in yourself as you take courageous new steps.
Plus, you get a bonus Illumination Kit when you enroll. Inside your Illumination Kit, you'll find audio recordings and a digital workbook to help you set your intentions for this experience.
Watch a preview:
Frequently Asked Questions:
How does the program work? Is it live?
A Class for Courage Lite is self-paced, not live. The class lessons and class materials are all online. When you enroll, you’ll get instant access to the Illumination Kit, the audio and video materials, and the ACFC Lite workbook and EFT manual.
Is this the same as A Class for Courage?
A Class for Courage Lite is a selection of lessons focused on fear and avoidance taken from the larger A Class for Courage. If you are already enrolled in A Class for Courage, then you already have these lessons! If you enroll in A Class for Courage Lite and would like to access the full A Class for Courage, you can always upgrade within the members area.
Does my enrollment ever expire?
All of the materials are downloadable so you have lifetime access and can complete them at your own pace. When you enroll, you'll also have access to your class members area, where you can listen to/view and download current course materials as well as receive any future updates to class materials.
What if I fall behind?
A Class for Courage Lite is designed to be fully self-paced. You get access to all the class materials when you enroll. Move through them at a pace that works good for you. If you ever feel behind, remind yourself of your intentions when starting this program and find your way back to a schedule that feels good to you.
What is Emotional Freedom Technique? Do I need experience with this before I begin?
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT, also referred to as tapping) is a healing technique combining acupressure, imaginal exposure, and cognitive and narrative therapy modalities. It has decades of research behind it and has been rated as an empirically validated treatment by the American Psychological Association. I've included an EFT video in A Class for Courage Lite to help integrate the concepts from the lessons into your new approach to life. You don't need any prior experience with EFT to benefit from these videos.
Do therapy or coaching sessions come with this program?
Right now, no. But I will be checking in by email as we move through the course. I am a licensed clinical psychologist and have over a decade of experience practicing psychotherapy, but this program is not intended as a replacement for treatment. If you feel you need more specific support for a psychiatric condition or are in crisis and would like to enroll in A Class for Courage Lite, I recommend using it together with professional therapeutic support.
People just like you are finding clarity, courage, and compassion with my tips and exercises.
Try A Class for Courage Lite for a full 60 Days, Risk-Free
This is not another hack, and you can't rush inner peace and strength. That's why I want you to try the program out and give it time to sink in. If the lessons and exercises in this program don't leave you with more courage after 60 days, let me know. If you didn't love it, I insist on giving you a full refund. No questions asked.
Life's too short and the world's too big to hide from the things that scare you.
All of us are capable of being clear and brave, but we forget that. Somewhere between childhood and the "real world," we train ourselves to avoid the vulnerability and uncertainty that are such a necessary part of transformation and being true to yourself. We don't feel fulfilled, and we're convinced we don't know how to be. So, we compensate with things or praise or control, or we'll spin our wheels trying to make the perfect plans. Even when we long to be reborn as our truest self, we resist the process of getting there.
You could spend your whole life protecting yourself when you could be growing, enjoying, expressing, believing in yourself. And it makes your world so, so small. Please don't do that to yourself.
Fear will tell you to stop, but fear's not the problem. It's how you respond to it. I've got lots of lessons to share about responding to your fear with courage and taking action in a new way. I hand-picked my favorites and put them in A Class for Courage Lite.