A courageous warrior doesn't look to her past, her patterns, her family history, or her problems to determine whether she can feel good about who she is. She looks inside herself and to the divine power that created her. She is here to gather the strength to fulfill her potential—which means she will have to face controversy. She will have to break through the limitations of her thoughts and her mind that can trick her into believing she is nothing more than a mere flawed mortal. She will have to be willing to face conflicts that will serve to ignite her strength as she stays focused on her vision of the future rather than on the past. A courageous warrior is a woman who bravely battles with the universal enemy—self-ignorance. 

So how does a courageous warrior live? She sees her fears clearly and embraces them with honesty and courage. When you are a warrior for your flaws, you search out the beauty in them. You make them important. You find kindness and compassion for the very things that make you different. A warrior is able to see the beauty and perfection in every aspect of herself. When you are a warrior for your body, you search out every good thing there is to fill it with—everynutrient, every vitamin, every thought, every belief. You love your body, and you thank your body in the morning and bless it throughout the day. When you are a warrior for your finances, you make sure that you have enough resources to take care of your family and yourself now and in the future. You feel the courage, strength, and confidence to go out and pursue work that you are inspired by, or to create a business that you dream about. You save enough money and learn enough about your finances to know what you need to take care of yourself in the future. When you are a warrior for your family, you don't take family matters so personally, because you know you are part of a clan in which everyone has their lessons to learn. A warrior looks to see not how her family has harmed her but how she can make them stronger and how she can be stronger by standing for them. When you are a warrior for your past, you find the gifts in difficult experiences. You know that these challenges have been opportunities for you to overcome. You know that in letting go of them, you have achieved a great goal. With each challenge, you rise to a new height. You are prepared to combat the agonizing voices in your head that tell you it shouldn’t have happened or that you must be stupid or that there is something wrong with you. You ask, "What voice am I listening to? Am I listening to the Voice of Fear, the Voice of Powerlessness, the Voice of Hopelessness, the Voice of Helplessness, the Voice of Insecurity? Or am I listening to the Voice of Acceptance, the Voice of Power, the Voice of Confidence, the Voice of Courage, the Voice of Strength, the Voice of Forgiveness?" A warrior knows she has the power to choose which voices will guide her. 

When you are a warrior for your future, you wake up in the morning with your vision in your awareness. You are clear about your actions and unshakable in your choices. You are focused on what’s in front of you instead of what’s behind you. You are focused on what you can do, not what you didn't do. A warrior is excited and passionate as she creates the future she most desires. 

Excerpted from COURAGE: Overcoming Fear and Igniting Self-Confidence by Debbie Ford, reprinted with permission by HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright 2012.