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What is courage? Nelson Mandela once said: "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

I’ve been thinking about how, in times of distress or confusion, we tend to look outside of ourselves for guidance when we want to move forward on our path of becoming our authentic self. Making a change can be scary, and we need to find the courage to take the first step.

Here, I am reminded of how Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz, was at first alone and needed courage to follow the Yellow Brick Road (her path of self-discovery).

Walking along the Yellow Brick Road, Dorothy met up with characters who were in search of something they felt they were lacking. The Cowardly Lion was sure he didn't have any courage, the Tin Woodman was convinced he didn't have a heart, the Scarecrow believed he didn't have a brain, and Dorothy was looking for a way to get home again.

In the end, after meeting up with the great Wizard of Oz, each one of them realizes that they had the power within them all along. They understood that they didn't have to look outside themselves to become complete. This is such a strong message!

When we are walking down our own Yellow Brick Road of self-discovery, we think that the answers are somewhere out there, with wise people, with those who say they know what's best for us. But in truth, no one can live our life for us; no one but ourselves knows what is best for us.

We may have to find the courage to walk the path alone at first. It's those first steps that are often the hardest. When we are thinking of leaving a toxic situation, we are terrified at the thought that we, most likely, will have to go it alone. Our ego constantly asks the question: What if I am on my own for the rest of my life?

We need to move past the ego and listen to our heart. When we do that, we send out an authentic vibration that will attract people into our life who support our well-being. In this way, we don't need the new people in our life to complete us, but to complement us.

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