Most of us understand the importance and significance of courage. It is an emotion that can help us to look at hard things in our lives. But if we are unwilling to take action based on our feeling of courage, we end up right where we started.
In this episode, I share some ideas pertaining to infidelity about some of the ways we need to not only have courage, but to turn that courage into action to ultimately have what we want.
I use specific stories and analogies to help my listeners know how this applies to them, and things they can start doing today.
Ways to work with me:
- Want to know how to decide to stay or go after infidelity? Join my free class here.
- Interested in my coaching program? Schedule a free 1-1 call with me to see if it would be a good fit for you.
- To learn more from me, be sure to join my email list here.
I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast
episode number 120, Courage Inspired Action.
Hello and welcome to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast where courageous
women learn not only to heal from their spouse’s betrayal, but to become
the boldest, truest, most decisive, and confident versions of themselves
ever. If you know there’s more for you than the life you’re currently
living but don’t quite know how to get there, you are in the right place.
Stick around to learn how to create a life that will knock your own socks
off. Is it possible? It is and I’m here to show you how. I’m your host,
Andrea Giles. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Hi, friends. Before I get into it today, I have to say, I hope you bear
with me during the audio of this week’s podcast. I’m on the road, I’m
traveling with my kids, taking them to the family reunion of their dad who
passed away. And I am not having a good time getting my audio connected, so
the quality might be a little bit different but I did not want to miss
getting you an episode. So let’s go ahead and dive in and please excuse the
less than stellar audio for the week. Okay. This episode, Courage Inspired
Action. I’ve been thinking a lot about courage. It’s one of my favorite
words. It’s one of the things that I actually really appreciate about
I appreciate that I feel like I’m a pretty courageous person. But I’ve been
thinking about myself and my clients and people that I know and just kind
of the human condition, the way we kind of all are. And I think that
sometimes, we can get really in a place that we do feel a lot of courage,
that we do feel very motivated, and then something falls short, something
happens, and we’re going to kind of talk about that today. Okay, so you
also probably hear a lot of people talk about courage. I know that Brene
Brown talks a lot about courage, Glennon Doyle talks about courage, lots of
online influencers, it’s kind of a big word, being courageous. And I love it
as well. But today, we’re going to be talking about courage and what needs
to come along with courage, and how courage will kind of lead us to a dead
end if we don’t take action from it.
Okay. So a lot of my clients have a lot of courage. Even them saying yes to
working with me requires a lot of courage. It’s scary. It’s scary. It’s
scary to go, “Okay, this problem is big enough that I’m going to do
something about it. And not only is it big enough, I’m ready to face it
head on. I’m ready to face this problem head on.” And pay money and say yes
and work with somebody else, that’s scary. It’s scary. You’re really kind
of like saying, “This is a big enough deal. It’s causing enough trouble in
my life. It’s a big enough issue in my life that I’m going to now do
something about it. And they know that when they work with me, it’s going
to require them to take a hard look at things that I’m going to help them
see some things that might be difficult to see.”
And so it takes a lot of courage just to say yes, okay? But one of the
things that I see a lot is that what happens is my clients will get to a
certain place where they’re really starting to see things, they’re starting
to open up to what happened in their marriages, in their relationships to
get to where they are. And there’s something that has to happen next. I’m
going to give you an example, a client example.
Okay. So one of my clients, she has been working with me for a little while
and she has struggled a lot with accepting the infidelity. That’s kind of
been a big thing for her, is that she’s just so angry that it happened.
She’s so embarrassed that it happened. She’s so mad. She is still in just
disbelief that the deceit went on right under her nose, that he had no
intention of telling her, that it went on for a little bit. She’s just so
mad about it, that he would be willing to jeopardize their relationship to
jeopardize their family. Just so much anger about the fact that he was even
willing to do it in the first place.
And on one of our coaching calls, I coached her around this, and I used an
analogy that I want to share here with you. Okay, so imagine that you’re
hiking down a path and you come into the path and there’s this massive,
massive boulder that’s right in the middle of the path that is huge, and
it’s big, and you can’t just kind of pick it up. You can’t just pick it up
and move it. And it’s not super easy to just get around. It’s kind of right
in the way, walking the road, and there it is. And you can see a little bit
beyond of where you’re trying to go, you know that you want to get there.
By all means, it looks like this boulder is going to slow you down, that
it’s slowing down your goals, that it’s slowing down the plans that you had
for yourself. And you are pissed. You’re mad that that boulder’s there.
You’re mad that it’s in the way. You’re mad that it had the nerve to
interrupt to the plans that you had. And you can kick it and be mad at it,
and stomp, and yell, and scream, and be angry that this thing is there. And
that’s what a lot of us do after infidelity, is there’s this big boulder
that was dropped in our path, this big boulder that was dropped in our path
and we are pissed about it like, “How? I was just going about my day hiking
along this path, and bam, you just dropped this on me, dropped this boulder
on me.” Right? I know a lot of my clients feel this way.
And I remember feeling this way too. Not only do we feel like it’s in our
way, but often we feel like it was dropped right on our head, not just in
our path but on our head, like direct impact where it’s really, really
painful that it’s there. Right? So what many of my clients do is they’re
just so pissed, they’re just so mad that that is there. They’re so mad that
they have to deal with all of the emotions that now they have to deal with
that were not there before, right? Feeling embarrassed, feeling shame,
feeling judgment of others, feeling judgment of themselves, feeling so
hurt, all of these things. And so what they’re doing is they’re spending
all of their energy just being so mad at this boulder for being there.
They’re just so mad at it.
And what I coached my client through on this particular call was the
significance and importance of getting to a place of just settling into it
is, it is, the boulder is. This thing did happen, it did happen, it is
there. And the power in that is that once we can drop into acceptance, it
helps us to move beyond all of the pain of our ego. Boy are our egos loud
of telling us all the things wrong with us, wrong with them, we’re so
embarrassed, all of that, right? And it helps us to just kind of look at it
for what it is. “It’s this thing, it’s there, and now what am I going to do
about it?” It goes from this place of acceptance, of accepting, of going,
“This boulder did land in my path. And instead of wasting my energy being
mad that it’s there, what do I want to do about it?”
And my friends, this is where courage inspired action comes in. Okay? I
made up this term, it’s CIA for short, which is kind of catchy and easy,
courage inspired action. Okay, so let’s talk about what this is. What is
courage inspired action? It’s not just enough to have courage. It’s not
just enough to accept, it’s not enough. Because if we just accept it as it
is, what this looks like in our relationships is we might get to a place
where it loses its sting, where we just kind of get used to it. We get used
to that boulder that got dropped on us and get used to just living with
this kind of level of pain where we just get used to it, where it might not
be that we’re kicking it, that we’re fighting it, that we’re punching it
and bloodying our knuckles being so mad at it and trying to hit it anymore.
We might not be to that extreme level.
We might be more calm in our bodies. We might feel more just resignation.
It might turn from fighting this boulder to resignation, that it’s just
there and it’s just the way it’s going to be. I don’t want that for you.
It’s not quite good enough. Okay? Why? Because you’re just shifting one
emotional experience to another. And ultimately, what is it going to get
you, to just go to a place of resignation. What it’s going to get you is a
whole lot of settling. That’s what it’s going to get you. It’s going to get
you just kind of going through the motions where you might not be in so
much pain every day, but you’re definitely not really enjoying your life
either. You’re not delighted to be in your life, you’re not delighted with
the relationships you’re in. You’re just kind of going with the flow,
you’re just kind of, “Yep, there it is, it’s there, and it’s just the way
it is.” Okay?
Courage inspired action is about going to a place of exceptions, “Yes, this
thing is here.” And it’s about looking beyond the boulder. It’s about
looking on the other side at the view of what you want, the view of what
could be. And you know what? It takes a damn lot of courage to dream,
especially after infidelity. It takes courage to dream. It takes courage to
believe in an amazing relationship. It takes courage to believe that you can
trust your spouse again, for those of you who are choosing to stay. It takes
courage. It takes courage to believe that you can trust anyone again after
infidelity. It takes courage to think, “You know what? I believe that there
are trustworthy people out there and I’m going to give it a go.” It takes
So courage is step one, to even look beyond that boulder and go, “What else
might be there? What else could be there?” And then it takes inspired
action, takes inspired action. It takes going, “Okay, I can see it. I can
see it enough to take one step. I can see it enough to lean in.” All right?
To lean into what? I was thinking about a movie that I watched with my kids
a while back. Many of you have probably seen it, it’s Frozen 2, the second
Frozen. And in it, Anna, her sister has kind of betrayed her trust and as
far as Anna knows, her sister has died. Another main character, Olaf, which
is a little snowman, he has also died. She doesn’t know where her
significant other is. She’s alone, she’s just utterly alone.
And the first time I watched this movie, I actually cried during this song
because I know it’s a cartoon right, but I know the grief that she’s
singing about. It’s a song called The Next Right Thing. And I know the
grief that she’s talking about, the grief, the grief that weighs me down.
And I remember that, I remember that intense, intense burning grief. And
the name of the song is The Next Right Thing. And in the song, she talks
about getting up and just doing the next right thing. She doesn’t know what
the outcome is going to be, she doesn’t know but she knows to do the next
right thing. Courage inspired action is a lot like that, where we are
looking at the situation that we don’t love. We are starting to accept that
it is there. And rather than being mad at it for being there and wasting a
lot of useful energy being mad at it, we are looking at what can be done.
We’re looking at, “What can I do here? What’s one thing that I can do?”
I can say that for me personally, a question that I ask a lot when I am
feeling like I’m up against a dead end is, “What’s one thing I can do?
What’s one thing that I can try? What’s one thing I haven’t tried yet?”
Sometimes I have, just like the rest of you, frustrations or things that
seem extra challenging, things that I feel discouraged or overwhelmed
about. And what helps me get out of that is looking at, “What’s one thing I
haven’t tried?” And I can actually honestly ask myself, “Andrea, have you
tried everything?” Sometimes. I’ll even get out a pen and paper and write
down the things that I have not tried. And there’s often a very long list,
there’s often many things that I haven’t tried that I haven’t considered.
And so asking what one thing that I can try can be very, very helpful and
can give me a job for my brain, give me something to do, an inspired
action, an action to take. And the thing about action is that action helps
you, of course, to move forward, you’re moving forward when you take
action. But it gives you more information. Something that you’ve probably
heard me say before on here is that action brings clarity. When we take
action, action brings us more clarity. It helps us to see. So if you think
about that boulder, if you are starting to think of an idea, something
about getting around it, going over it, a way to move it, things like that,
from a view of looking on the other side of it and seeing what’s possible
on the other side of it, what’s going to happen is you’re going to start
taking some of those steps forward. And either you’re going to learn, “You
know what? That didn’t work so well,” or you’re going to learn what does
And both are very, very important. Both are very important. Just because
you tried it and it doesn’t work, doesn’t mean go back, be discouraged,
worry that it’s never going to work. It means, “Okay, there’s one thing
that I tried that didn’t work. Let’s try something else.” Okay? And
sometimes, we try things from kind of a controlling approach where we want
to control the way other people respond to the things that we’re trying,
and we can learn from that and go, “You know what? I went into it still
trying to just force my will, force how this conversation went,” or
whatever it is that we’re trying. “I was already frustrated and so the
things that I said came from a place of kind of an attack. So of course the
conversation shut down. It didn’t go the way that I wanted it to go.” Okay?
So we can evaluate, we can get more information, we can go deeper, we can
learn more always, and then we can try again.
Okay? So what courage inspired action does is it makes it so that we can
feel the courage and then we take action forward. We’re taking steps
forward. And often, if we’re looking at it and not getting the results that
we are hoping for, if we’re taking the action and still not getting the
results we’re hoping for, it just means that we need to go back, evaluate,
and try again. Okay? The thing is that every emotion that we have, we’re
taking some kind of action from an emotion and then we get our results. For
example, if we’re feeling really angry and we’re taking action from anger,
if we are punching things and throwing things, we might be taking action
but it’s not necessarily inspired action. What I mean by inspired action is
the action that’s going to move things forward in a way that’s going to get
us closer to what we actually want. Right?
Now, anger isn’t the problem. Sometimes what anger does, sometimes the
inspired action is to set a better boundary. Sometimes, it is to say no.
Sometimes, it is to have a very bold conversation with somebody from a
place of anger, but it’s very clear in our mind what it is we’re standing up
for. We’re going to get a different result than if we are angry, and
swinging, and reacting to our anger rather than taking inspired action from
it. Okay, so back to this particular client. This client was working
through getting to a place of acceptance, accepting that it did in fact
happen, accepting that it is part of their story now. And the more she
continues to kick and fight against the thing that happened, that big
boulder that got dropped in your path, the more she is not giving energy to
actually healing, to actually really getting clear on, “Do I want to be
here or not?” Right?
It’s driving her away from her spouse instead of to her spouse. Like in
theory, she says, “I want to be with him. I want to be with him, I want
this to work,” but this action of continuing to be mad that that boulder is
there is keeping her divided from him, not moving toward him. So her next
step was to try to lean in, to lean into him, to lean into conversations
that will help them build this new connection where they can work together
to create the thing that they want on the other side of that boulder. For
all of us forevermore, there is no changing this thing that happened in our
lives. There is no changing that infidelity occurred. It is there as much as
we might hate it, right? It’s always going to be there.
But there is something really powerful about taking courage inspired action
that actually helps the thing that got dropped on us, this infidelity, to
lose its impact. It does not stay as big in our path. It’s like it shrinks.
It doesn’t stay as powerful. It doesn’t take as much space as what we
initially thought it would. Over time, it’s just kind of a thing that’s
there. It’s just there. It’s part of the story, it’s there, but it’s not all
you see, because there’s so much more to the landscape. There’s so much
more. It’s just this thing that sometimes brings up a painful emotion, but
mostly it’s just this thing that’s there, that’s part of your history, but
that no longer controls you, that no longer takes up unnecessary space.
Okay, so to wrap this up today, this is going to be a little bit of a
shorter episode, to wrap this one up today, I want you to think about
what’s one thing you can do? What’s something that requires your own
courage inspired action? One thing. What can you do that you have not yet
done? What are you wasting time kicking against, wishing it would be
different? And what would change if you accepted that it is and then
decided to remember that there’s good things on the other side and what it
might look like to walk towards those things? Okay, my friends, that’s what
I have for you today. I appreciate you being here and I’ll see you next
time. Take care.
Thank you for listening to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast. If you would
like to be kept in the know about upcoming free classes, new podcast
episodes, and other ways of working with me, go subscribe to my weekly
email. You can subscribe at andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. Again,
it’s andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. I will see you next time.