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Becoming Brave & Resilient

– by Dr. Helen McIntosh

Q.  How on earth does one “become brave?”

A.  That’s what this website will help you with—hearing countless and various stories of people’s bravery—and beginning to see the common thread. Your answer is that in every story of bravery, the protagonist chose to take one brave and bold step…and then another and another. A step forward is a choice we make daily, hourly, and minute by minute. Anyone can do it, for anyone can make the next right and courageous decision. We all need one another’s stories to inspire us, so that we can be brave. The good news is that we don’t have to be adequate or strong. God loves to show up when we finally realize we “can’t do it.” His power shows up best when we relinquish the reins. Be refreshed again with 2 Corinthians 11:30 and 2 Corinthians 12: 5—10. Some verses that show us it is a cognitive decision to be brave or courageous (therefore do-able) are: Matthew 9: 2 and 22 where Jesus says “take courage.” Write back and we’ll dialogue!


Q.  How does one become resilient?

A. A huge way we become resilient is to bounce back with a change of thinking. The Bible says, “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). In other words, it matters what we are thinking! It determines our behavior or course of life. I will be spending time in this column teaching resilient thinking because that is the tool we need to “change channels.” It is my passion to help people experience resilience that are presently stuck in a bad relationship, a destructive pattern of thinking, a dark circumstance, or any number of examples of deep disappointments that life hasn’t turned out like it “should.” I have authored a book entitled, Messages to Myself, that has much material on this process; but it will be my pleasure to make it personal for you here. Please write back an example of a stuck place and I hope to address your concern in an upcoming column. Be making a list of your thoughts and feelings and I will start next time on “how to reframe” for resiliency.


Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.