Ocean Girl - a boat moored in Fiji - photo by her owner and friend Gillian who has really shown me what being brave means.

Ways to build courage

Photo credit: Ocean Girl - photo taken by her owner and a friend Gillian who has shown me what brave is.

“There are more ways than one to skin a cat, so are there more ways than one of digging for money.”-The Money Diggers by Seba Smith

In life, there are countless ways to confront our fears and build the courage needed to achieve our goals. Finding courage through little adventures seems to be how I confront my fears. As Seba Smith once said, "There are more ways than one to skin a cat, so are there more ways than one of digging for money." The journey towards conquering our anxieties and uncertainties is often best experienced through physical challenges that push us outside our comfort zones. Today, with the advent of technology, we even find that virtual experiences can evoke real emotions, and change physical responses to fear as well. (1) 

 In this blog post, I'll share my personal story of how I am working towards melting deep-rooted fears and anxiety, and how stepping into the unknown through physical adventures has transformed me into a stronger, more fearless person.

Embracing the Unknown

I vividly remember the day that marked a significant turning point in my life. It was the weekend after my legal separation from my children’s father, he had moved in with the babysitter, and I was grappling with my newfound self-identity. Not being needed for a whole weekend, or depended on, was an experience I had not had for at least 7  years.  Struggling with deep-rooted fears of the water due to a traumatic childhood experience, I decided to confront my demons by taking a full-day kayaking course in White Rock, what seemed at the time,  far away from my hometown of Abbotsford. It was a daunting endeavor, but I was determined to embrace the discomfort and push myself beyond my limits. I had not driven out of town alone before, we didn’t have google maps and my pager wasn’t going to help me.  Since then, I have taken that 45-minute drive so many times I can’t count and even made it a traditional Valentines Day drive for a while to go have fish and chips with the kids.  Though the fear of deep water is still there, my power to manage the fear, is much better, but it still affects me more than I would like.  I have a photo on my wall of a girl jumping of a boat similar to the one in the header. Deep water below and total confident in her jump. 

Twenty years later I am still looking for strength in unfamiliar waters. My last adventure took me out on my paddle board, totally alone on a Saturday morning at about 8:30. (summer 2023)  into a deep part of the K’omox Bay,  In the vast, unexplored waters (by me anyway)  I had skirted around the shores so far but was always able to see where the water touched the bottom, sand dollars and startfish waving back at me..  Last year, I had made peace with my nemesis called Green Lake in Whistler, BC, by staying near the shore and repeated expeditions weekly.  Finally able to cross under the sea planes on the windiest day with speed and agility.
The ocean has become a new demon to overcome, with endless mysteries and the news of 900 dying in Greece the week before.. My heart raced as I faced the darkness below, trying to resist the overwhelming fear that crept into my mind. As I turned my board out into the bay, “Just keep paddling” was going through my mind.  I refused to give in to the memories that haunted me, replacing them with a new narrative of progress and self-discovery. As I set a visual goal and paddled further, I realized that achieving "little wins" in unfamiliar waters fed my soul, providing the motivation to take on bigger adventures in the future.  As memories licked at my feet, I was already making plans for my next journey out here, to go further. 

Transformative Power of "Little Wins"

My new motto has become “ Here we go” which is a forward motion, unlike the memories that are trying to drag me into the dark waters of the past.  Over the years, I have hunted for little successes, small achievable goals I could stack, and use to climb up and overcome my fears.  The feeling of these “little wins” have fed my soul that needs constant motivation, giving me strength to go and do it again and build a better experience each time I pick a new adventure, big or small.  

Whether it was kayaking in deep waters, which led to crying (balling) my way up to the university admissions desk at 29, taking 7 years instead of 4 to get my bachelor's degree,  getting hired at a rock climbing gym at 47, learning to indoor rock climb, finally swimming across a small lake (with a support person) becoming a certified personal trainer in my 50’s, jumping up and down like a crazy person for Tony Robbin’s courses, writing my story for Dean Graziosi, or trying new sports, these experiences became the stepping stones to my personal growth. All of it was uncomfortable. 

We each have different things holding us back, we each start with a different set of tools, and instructions that can keep us from even finding the cat, the money or the skill to achieve gains on goals. Be easy on yourself. Be curious in every little way and stack all your little wins to achieve a feeling of success.

Encouragement for Your Own Journey:
Overcoming fears is not a linear process, and it's essential to be gentle with yourself along the way. Embrace the little things that can make a big difference in your approach to life. Attend that event you've always wanted to, explore a new sport, or take a leap and travel to a far-off land that feels out of reach. Your courage will grow with each step you take outside your comfort zone.

Life's journey is full of opportunities to build courage and conquer our fears. By taking physical adventures, we can create lasting change and shape new muscle memories that propel us forward. Remember, every step outside your comfort zone, no matter how small, can lead to remarkable personal transformation. So, embrace the unknown, embark on new adventures, and open yourself up to a world of endless possibilities. Sometimes, just showing up... is the success. 

Joining the Adventure:
If you find yourself on Vancouver Island and want to embark on a small adventure, consider joining our free meetup group, "The Ladies Meeting," designed for professional women aged 45-65. Here, we support and motivate each other to explore new experiences and foster personal growth. Also available, Soul Suppers coming this fall and personal and group coaching. 

About Anyssa 

Over the years, Anyssa's career soared as she embraced creativity and blend it with the digital revolution and became an authority in digital marketing and social media strategy. Her proficiency in leveraging live events with online presence and communication to optimize campaigns and deliver measurable results became her trademark. With a keen eye for emerging trends, she consistently stayed ahead of the curve, utilizing cutting-edge technologies to drive brand awareness and engagement.  Her personal mission now is to assist others to create a platform they are proud to stand on, a life they are happy to lead and show people they can achieve success on their own terms through her podcast Epic Lifestyles. 

You can connect with her online on

If you want to learn more about blogging she has written you a post So you want to blog for your business  
An explanation of the differences between your website and your blog and how to use them both as leverage in your business.

Her company The Communication Studio has been supporting small businesses online and in print since 2009
An explanation of the differences between your website and your blog and how to use them both as leverage in your business. 

  1. Huberman Lab Podcast :  Andrew interviews Matthew MacDougall, MD, the head neurosurgeon at Neuralink. Dr. MacDougall trained at the University of California, San Diego and Stanford University School of Medicine and is a world expert in brain stimulation, repair and augmentation.