The Courage To Know Yourself

Leslie Santos
Mar 26, 2018 · 5 min read

My client had a difficult decision to make. On one hand, she was unexpectedly bestowed an amazing opportunity; on the other hand, she was given an uncomfortable ultimatum by her supervisor. Both choices generated anxiety, anger and frustration: If I stay, I forfeit my passion and deny my essential self. If I go, the repercussions will be harsh and possibly permanent. As we dove deeper, we discovered that stirring beneath the anger and anxiety was self-doubt, and this doubt clouded her ability to make a conscious decision.

Opportunities (i.e., falling in love, a job offer, a baby) are benevolent gifts that throw us into the change cycle. In order to accept the opportunity, change is necessary. Sometimes when these changes intersect with others (as with my client), lines are drawn, threats are issued, and stakes are claimed. Reacting from defense and fear, neither person can hear the other. We begin to doubt ourselves and doubt the answers living and breathing inside us — our inner voice.

Doubt is a powerful antagonist to our inner truth. When change catalyzes fear, we must roll up our sleeves and dig for doubt like treasure.

“My hands are bloody from digging.I lift them, hold them open in the wind, so they can branch like a tree.” — Rilke

Individually branched and held to the light, we can see our messages of doubt more clearly. Rather than summarizing our doubt, spinning in indecision, or collapsing in fear, we can look inward and compassionately examine each doubt separately and find the intricate patterns, like pausing to notice the nuances of each individual leaf on one branch of a tree.


Together, we discovered the construction of her branches: future catastrophizing and black and white thinking. My client couldn’t make a decision because she looked into the future and catastrophized the outcome. And her worry prevented her from seeing shades of gray — if X than Y made both variables untenable.

Once she saw her reaction patterns, she could unravel them. As we pulled them apart, false-self beliefs dropped like dried leaves: I doubt my intelligence, I doubt my validity, my work isn’t good enough, if I go I will lose the respect of others, my supervisor will be angry, she won’t understand me, she will terminate me.

In effect, my client was attempting to make a major life decision by working backward (from her supervisor’s reaction) while in fear (catastrophizing black and white outcomes), and her lack of empowerment caused total collapse.

Doubt and fear robbed her sovereignty.

Conscious decision and inspired action required personal empowerment: to first stand in her truth, and from this perspective, shift the energy and momentum toward loving kindness.

She needed the courage to know herself.


To know her true self, my client had to call forth her essential self, the part of herself who is free of fear and doubt. This higher self only transmits messages of love, connection, harmony, peace, and safety. Any thoughts of fear, scarcity, disharmony or separation are messages from her social self.

To hear her true self messages, she needed to listen to her body and ignore her brain.

Our social self uses language to communicate, and our brain is quick to lie. The answers we seek rarely come through our brain. When we attempt to use our social self’s language to make decisions, we contaminate the process with fear and doubt. When we use our higher self to make decisions, we bypass the messages of the brain and tap into our inner knowing: our body’s language. We use our body as a compass to find true north.

By accessing her body’s wisdom, my client received immediate, clear, open feedback. Self-empowered to take action, she was now positioned to use her confidence, her light, and her inner knowing to shift the conversation with her supervisor. In effect, she was future prospecting — looking into the future and pulling down an outcome in her favor.


We are light beings. Medical scientists tell us that we all have vast electrical potential in each cell of our bodies. Like fiber optic cables, our cell membranes have gap junctions that when viewed under a microscope, reveal tiny ‘camera-like’ apertures at the end of each perfectly formed tube. These apertures are taking in light energy from our environment. When we change our energy from disempowerment to empowerment, from fear to love, we radiate light, which in turn, is absorbed by the cells of our beloved antagonist. Said simply, our primary form of communication is through light energy. By changing our energy, we shift our communication power.

As we claim our voice of truth, we lift our light, and we present our true selves and elevate others to the highest level of light vibration. As we claim our freedom, as the one in choice, we align our vision only to truth and stand in empowered wonderment at the unfolding.

I know who I am.

Here I go in this new claim.

Inspired action is my forward motion.


It takes courage to know ourselves, and from our courage, personal empowerment springs; shimmering in truth, we energize the light others receive. Our innerness effects all living things. We are nature. Nature is us. May we have the courage to know our true selves and radiate our golden light.

The Innerness of All Things

You create yourself in ever-changing shapes

that rise from the stuff our days —

unsung, unmourned, undescribed,

like a forest we never knew.

You are the deep innerness of all things,

the last word that can never be spoken.

To each of us you reveal yourself differently:

to the ship as a coastline, to the shore as a ship.— Rilke


Originally published at www.benddontbreak.me.

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