How not to be a coward

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been a coward the majority of my life.  I never gave it my all.  I always let the other guy step up.  I hesitate to say that I could have done a better job than him, though. I never had much confidence. I could blame it on my upbringing but recently I have been reticent to play that card.

I don’t want to blame anyone anymore for how I behave. It is about time that I take responsibility for how I react to life’s ups and downs.

A coward is one who blames others for his mistakes.  A coward sits on the sidelines leaving others to do the hard work.   A coward doesn’t put in the effort or hard work, because of the off chance that it will not work out for him. A coward never really gives it his best…

A coward dies a thousand deaths, compared to someone with courage.  I could say that I feel bad for a coward, but I really don’t.  I can empathize and if asked, I would gladly offer hope and encouragement, but the path to courage is up to the individual himself.

So, here I am early 40’s and just acknowledging the depths of my cowardice.  It is frightening and exhilarating to face this deep personal defect.  I know I have the strength to persevere to permanently remove cowardice from my person, but there is always that nagging feeling that I might not be strong enough.

Well, I know I am strong enough to conquer this.  I have been on a path of self development for the past three years now.  I have conquered many demons, and I will conquer this one like all the rest.


How not to be a coward

Coming to the realization that I am a coward has been liberating to me. True, it is also crushing to know that cowardice is a trait that I have held onto for so many years of my life, but as I have found with so many other bad traits in my past, I can change.

The price of cowardice compounds with time, as does being courageous.  I just never fully understood that the actions I took on a daily basis could be aligned with this particular trait.

Lack of confidence and understanding have stood in my way of being the true person I should be. I have been working on understanding and bettering myself, now, for over three years now.   Who I am today is nowhere near who I used to be.  Like peeling layers of an onion away, it seems that I am at the layer where I must address my cowardice.

Career wise, I get a D+ for being a coward.  I have rarely gone above and beyond on the job, never volunteered for special projects, never went home and studied particular topics so that I could become a subject matter expert.   I just kept my head down and avoided.   That is the key, when you actively avoid interacting in the world, your issues only compound.

You are only aware of the true cost until it is too late.  Your relationship falls apart, and your spouse leaves you. You let your technical skills languish, and you are let go. You don’t plan for the future, the future arrives and you are not ready.  You can blame all these things on others, but in reality it is up to you to plan ahead and figure it out.

It is a matter of working on being courageous on a daily basis. Being mindful of what you are feeling, and self correcting.  Finding coping mechanisms, and fending off cowardice on a moment by moment basis.  This is the best and easiest path to take.  One small step at a time.  Then again, I still have a long way to go in not being a coward.  I will make sure you update you in a later post on how it goes.