Girl, you know I love to stalk my people on the socials, right” Especially when it comes to who I want as a guest on my podcasts and this guest was no different! I found her on Instagram and I just loved everything about her. Ashley Mitchell encourages my FAVORITE word… COURAGE. It’s courage that gets you to do anything…. EVERYTHING we do in life takes courage, every change we go through, every bridge we try to cross, every new thing we are so afraid of trying but we muster the courage to try it anyways, requires courage!
BUTT… for some us when we try to get into action our fear keeps are feet glued to the fucking floor and we don’t have the courage to make it happen. But YOU CAN BE COURAGEOUS, and you can become unstuck.
One of the things I loved so much about Ashley is that she founded The Courage Campaign, which is a nonprofit organization that provides public schools and communities with high-caliber physical fitness instruction combined with personal development and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). Her background and upbringing have taught her to successfully navigate failure, fear, and discrimination, and use adversity to redefine her own success. She now aims to share what she’s learned and help others to unlock passion, invoke courage, and reinvent achievement. And she is starting with the younger generation to help “create strong minds and bodies today that will help build a positive tomorrow.”
We have to transform our fears in order to accomplish things that we set out to do. It’s human nature to be afraid and we are always going to be afraid of something… that will never go away, but it’s about knowing what is an excited fear and what is the “run for your freaking life” fears. And we have to learn how to get over those fears that are stopping us from reaching our true potential… ACTION breeds confidence and courage, so if you want to get over those fears, you have to get up and do something about it.
There is this amazing book that Ashley and I were talking about in this podcast and that is The Gift Of Fear By [Tweet “Gavin de Becker. “True Fear is a gift. Unwarranted fear is a curse. Learn how to tell the difference.””]This book is amazing because it really dives into fears, how to differentiate between the 2 types of fears like the ones that give us those gut feeling cues that are innate to us as human beings and we know is a bad situation and fears that are just holding us back from accomplishing something. I bring this up because we have to learn how to phase through those fears that are not bad but just holding us back, in order to reach these goals that we are striving for.
A huge hurdle to overcome, is not being in our own bodies. Not fully understanding ourselves and our bodies. We don’t know what it feels like to feel good, we don’t know if we are scared to grab enough that we have to run and grab our handbag, and we don’t know if we are just too scared or charged up to try something. So, it is so important to just slow down, reevaluate things and find ourselves. Really stop and get within your body to understand who you are, what you want and find out what is stopping you and getting in the way of you accomplishing those goals and building up the courage to reach out and grab what it is that you truly want.
I think this pandemic with COVID has really taught us to build up that courage to venture back out again as things reopen, to go to the grocery store, or just go to places. Yes we have learned to slow down and slow our busy lives, but this was a scary time for many people, the fear of the unknown, the fear of our economy or the state of their families and it has taken a great deal of courage for so many people to get over that fear and begin their lives again. We were held up inside for so long, and yes it worked for many. Their lives slowed down, they learned things, they grew as individuals, but there are sooo many others on the other side of this that were affected dramatically by this in negative ways that now need to dig out of where they are to re-emerge again post COVID and it is taking them all the courage they can get to rebuild their lives again.
For Ashley, the Courage Campaign was built out of a period of grief and fear after her father passed away. Growing up, Ashley saw in her household 2 parents who were perfect examples of discipline, hard work, courage, and more because her parents were both hard-working and held that very valuable. Her dad being a professional boxer and Postman and her mother working and going to college at the same time she emulated those images of resilience that she saw throughout her life.
Her parents allowed for her to fail and discover our own courage and own resilience, right wrong or indifferent. “My upbringing was such that, sort of black culture in general, black parents don’t coddle their children. I think it is born out of generational trauma and knowing what we are going to face when we get older, so there isn’t a lot of being overprotective or putting us in a bubble. When your skin is brown, you have to prepare to be a human in a different way than if it was not brown.” -Ashley Mitchell Why You Really Need Courage Podcast
After her parents got divorced, she learned that you don’t sit in sorrow or in grief, you have to pick yourself up and keep going. You cannot hold on to it and you have to learn from it, grow and continue your life. And she knew this to hold true after her father passed away and knew that she could not sit in grief forever. Her athletic background is what actually “healed” her and got her through that time in her life. She used that to become a fitness instructor and utilized her creative artist side to write a lot more. Until one day Ashley and her partner, who is also the co-founder of the company realized that they could take her resilience and what she has learned throughout her life and teach it to other people to help them to become more resilient.
For years we have had to learn to PIVOT.. Shit is always going to happen in our lives, and you could either lay down or figure it out. And of course, it’s okay to lay down for a minute or 2, but don’t sit in that shit for too long. Get up and keep on moving forward and don’t dwell on the negative things for too long.
Do you have the courage to stop being so reliant upon other people and asking for permission all the time’
Do you have the courage to know your intuition to tell you what is right and what is wrong’
Do you have the courage to stop relying on other people to walk you through the changes in your life and actually take on the responsibility and accountability for yourself’
Do you have the courage to stop looking for the fastest and easiest way out and actually have patience in trying to change your body or reach a specific fitness goal’
Do you have the courage to step away from that Amazon Prime way of thinking and know that you are not going to change your entire life and your body in a matter of 2 days’
Do you have the courage to try new things, fail and keep on moving forward to see what will work to get you closer to your goals’
Do you have the courage to STEP BACK and say what it is that I want for my life”’
Right now, I want you to get the courage to stop comparing yourself to people you see on INSTAGRAM!! We never know what someone is going through to look the way they look, in a good way or a bad way. You don’t know who has eating disorders or who is super healthy, or if they have an underlying health problem that causes them to not gain weight. We just have no idea what is happening behind that image, we only see a picture, a 6 pack or flat stomach and big tits, and we say that person has something that I don’t have, and I want that! And you spiral down the rabbit whole of comparison. [Tweet “YOU have the courage to step back and say I DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT!”]
Our mission is to GIVE YOU THE COURAGE to realize that you can be healthy without that big box of CRAZY all the time! Ashley and I want so badly for people to believe that they are enough, just the way they are but there is nothing wrong with self-improvement. This doesn’t mean to let all of your shit go, but there are ways to enjoy your body and work hard for it but also enjoy your personal relationships and not always be thinking about, “I can’t eat this bun on my burger.” Or saying I am not eating french fries, I am eating a salad!! NOOO eat fucking fries. It is about BLENDING NOT BANNING!
There are 2 things that I absolutely adore and that is BELIEF and COURAGE. I believe in courage. In order to have courage you have to have a belief that whatever it is you are trying to achieve, that you can do it!! To do that, sometimes you can just trust and believe that something is going to come. Have the belief that there is a higher power helping to guide you. And that higher power doesn’t remove difficulty from your life but meets you where you are and helps to get you where you need to go.
There will be a lesson in what you learn and in the difficulties you face. But these lessons will be what teaches you to not go down that road again when you see the same thing happening. You have to be in that relationship with your mind and body so you can recognize what is happening. You have to have these experiences so that you can have courage to face adversities and difficult times and overcome them with confidence and the knowledge that you need to do so. With this you will build COURAGE and you will become stronger and get unstuck from where you are in life right now!
I encourage you to look into my girl, Ashley. She is truly amazing; she is so inspiring and really one of a kind!
What makes you feel magical’
“What makes me feel magical is a time like this. I want to say time makes me feel magical but that’s just not deep enough. Time to continue to get to know me, Ashley, makes me feel magical. That is where I feel I find my power and direction when there is no noise and it is me, being me, deciding how I want to continue being me. I want all of those selves to always be integrated. I never want someone to look at my IG and talk to me and say that is a different person. I value that. I value being truly me at all times.”
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The Gift of Fear Gavin De Becker https://amzn.to/3ghfnjK
Conversations in Courage, The Podcast: