The Courage to Start

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Do you have a tattoo?  Do you regret it?  If yes, you are not alone.  According to a survey from the British Association of Dermatologists, nearly a third of people regret getting a tattoo.  In my early 20’s I got a tattoo of a symbol for Courage.  Lucky for me, not only do I not regret the tattoo but it has also become something of a personal mantra for me.  Sometimes when I’m feeling shy or nervous about something new or a change, I will touch the tattoo and say to myself “The Courage to Start”.

A personal mantra is an affirmative phrase or a positive statement that you say to yourself for the purpose of motivation or encouragement.  It can be a famous quote or something that you make up for yourself.  You may have different mantras for different situations or they may be decided upon based on current circumstances.  For me, my mantra of “The Courage to Start” helps to bring a sense of peace during challenging situations.

My personal Mantra is also a title of a book by John Bingham.  While the concept of the book is about having the courage to start running, the lessons and ideas are transferable to anything you are trying to start whether it is exercise, business, or financially related.  In the book Mr. Bingham shares many of his personal mantras along his journey of becoming a runner.   In the beginning it started with: “I may not be ready to accept success, but I am no longer prepared to quit”.  Along his journey it became, “I am to trust my own judgment.  I am willing to accept that things that are good for me may not be good at all for someone else.  I’m a better judge of better.”

Mantras inspire you to be your best self.  There are no rules in developing your own personal mantra.  Think about what is important to you, what you would like to change, and what speaks to you.  Once decided, write it down in a place where you will see it often.  Examples include a bathroom mirror, on the tagline of your daily alarm, or in your car.

Having trouble thinking of a personal mantra?  Here are some ideas to get you started.

• The definition of insanity is doing the same things and expecting different results

• I am not who I’m going to be.  I am always becoming

• Sometimes on the way to a dream, you get lost and find a better one

• I give myself permission to both fail and succeed

• Take the rock out of your shoe instead of learning to limp comfortably • Courage is not always loud.  Sometimes it is a quiet voice saying, “I will try again tomorrow”

Find whatever mantra that will be capable of creating transformations for you.  And may you have the Courage to Start whatever is at the top of your list today.

Sources:, The Courage to Start by John Bingham,,,

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