Harnessing the courage of Thor: How to change your thinking and beat your giants

Republished with permission. View article on Military1.com.

Within the first 30 minutes of Thor: The Dark World, directly following a massive battle, a man made of rock thundered on to the scene. Realizing he was going to have to confront the giant, Thor drew an audible breath. The beautiful woman to his left looked out of the corner of her eye.

“All yours,” she said to Thor.

As the rock giant moved roughly through a crowd of men, he bashed one of the soldiers, literally driving him up through the air.

Then, Thor did something courageous. Instead of backing away or fighting from a comfortable distance, Thor swallowed hard and stepped toward the giant. As Thor moved forward, the giant slammed the ground with his battle-ax and roared. Rocks flew up from the earth into the late afternoon sky.

“Hello,” said Thor greeting the rock giant.

The giant roared. Unfettered by the display of brutality, Thor continued toward the giant.

“I accept your surrender,” said Thor.

He then laughed, spun his mighty hammer, taking his best, calculated shot. With a single blow, the giant exploded into a massive pile of rock.

As the short fight scene ended, Thor looked at the faces that had watched him defeat the giant. “Anyone else?” he asked with a swagger.

Press in

Just when the worst seems to be over and things are calming down, sometimes a giant problem can make its way onto the scene and seem to roar. It’s all yours. You have a choice. You can stand back or you can press into the roaring giant.

Recently, I heard a story about a real live hero – a woman with remarkable bravery who faced a horrific situation and continued pressing through.

This hero’s husband was a soldier who killed himself. He thought he had it all worked out. He thought his family would be set for life. But because his death was by suicide and due to extenuating circumstances, she did not receive the benefits of an active duty soldier.

Instead, she was left with the overwhelming responsibility to move herself and her children forward.

Although the big hurdle was getting past the immediate trauma of her husband’s death, she was forced to enter battle after battle. Without his steady income, she was suddenly placed in the position to move from full time mom to career woman.

She was suddenly a single mother. She was suddenly alone.

Moreover, she came face to face with a giant – choosing how to remember her late husband.

In counseling sessions, therapists honed in on the ugly things he had done and said. They fixated on the bad behavior. It was as though the giant continued to roar.

The emotional upheaval tapped deeply into past wounding. Her ability to press in and move through the negative emotions would set the foundation for his legacy for her children.

Step up to the giant

Although the mind shift was not immediate, she decided to remember the good that resided in her late husband. She also remembered his childhood, where his pain and struggles began. She began to separate his actions from his true intention. She realized that during her marriage she had been emotionally trapped, victimized by his harsh words and then, after his death, she remained stuck, allowing his words to continue to affect her.

She was stuck in a pattern, defining herself by the negative words he had spoken. In order to break out of the cycle of pain, she had to break out of that mindset. She had to see herself as something more than the sum total of the ugliness he had shown her. She had to recognize that his pain and struggles did not equal her self-worth – or his.

Instead of seeing herself as the person defined by his negative words, she stepped up to the giant with a new approach. She saw him for who he really was and not the words he used, thereby beginning the process of true healing.

She’s a true hero defined by her ordinary courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Take a calculated shot at the giant

(It’s okay if you have to try more than once.)

Just when you think the battle is over, you might be presented with a giant. For our hero, redefining her self-worth and creating a new response pattern to old problems as well as a new self-image, was the first step toward becoming whole again.

What cycle of thinking do you need to break out of in order for you to win against your giant?