The Courage to Try.
I’m guessing that like me, you might suffer from some level of insecurity and feelings of inadequacy. I want to have a conversation with you about courage. We’re all on the same path, but just at different places in our journey. I want to share my journey with you so that I may convince you that you have what it takes to crush fear and overcome.
The reality is that we can become more courageous if we desire it. Maybe we just need a wakeup call to fully realize that.
It reminds me of how the Wizard of Oz converted the Cowardly Lion from a frightened bully to a re-born and energized Lion committed to showing real courage. His conversion happened because of an intervention where the former coward learned that real courage was about being honest, vulnerable and standing up for what’s right. The Cowardly Lion is like many of us in that he needed some event to shock him into change.
Dorothy provided the intervention when she showed the courage to call out his unacceptable behavior. Realizing that he needed to change, our Lion friend now only needed the Wizard to give him the perspective, knowledge and motivation to make the changes to be better.
I think the lesson we can learn from the Cowardly Lion is that our fears can cause us to act in ways that are weak and that cause us to get stuck in life. We all need our Dorothy and our Wizard to both provide the intervention, and then the guidance to change.
It’s taken me a long time to overcome my feelings of inadequacy and insecurity, in fact I still deal with it every day. I didn’t know that courage was personal, that no two people show courage in the same way and that you can actually grow your courage by learning and practicing.
We need to stop beating ourselves up for failures and instead realize that those failures mean that we are trying and stretching, growing and learning something. The key is that we must DO and take action instead of just talking. Failing, which in no way means permanent failure, gives us a base to build on as long as we keep trying. I sure wish I knew this when I was younger and wish I had someone to help me understand that reality.
Do you ever feel that if you could overcome a major fear in your life, that you might be able to do more? I know that is true for me and I draw courage and inspiration from you to help me confront my fears. What do you want out of life? What are you willing to do to get it? It might be much easier than you imagined if you are ready to make a decision to be honest with yourself.
Courage is the most powerful of human tools for success. Since success favors the prepared, we should be nurturing our courage if we want to achieve our goals.
What’s courage all about? Courage is about choosing to act in spite of being afraid. It’s a conscious decision and it’s a decision that only YOU can make.
Hmmm….acting in spite of fear…that means if we can manage fear… WAIT! I didn’t say eliminate it, I said manage it…. then we have the ability to accomplish something that we might not otherwise dare to even try. Taking that action therefore allows you to remove an obstacle or to make progress. It allows you to try something bold and daring that might bring about a new understanding or breakthrough.
So I equate courage with understanding and controlling, if not necessarily eliminating fear. That puts we humans, all of us, right in the hot seat. If we can’t say that courage is reserved for superheroes only, then it looks like it’s up to you and me kid, and we have a lot of power when we choose to use it.
So, how does courage help us in our lives? Easy. In order to achieve anything meaningful, we have to actually peel our cheeks off the couch and do something. Then we have to finish it so that it can be put to use, shared with others, critiqued and improved. Completing something tangible is key!
Doing anything new requires us to try, to initially fail, and to try again until the objective is reached. This requires management of fear because humans almost universally have a fear of failure. However, failure is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to your progress. It is how we learn and grow, period! So we need to fail, to learn and adjust. To do anything new, is going to require discomfort and failure. The more you do, the better chance you’ll find something that you love and something that is successful. The more fear you can control, the more you can do.
Courage is the secret power that allows you to try, to fail and it also gives you the power to get up, dust yourself off from your failure and to try again. Failure is NOT a sign that you can’t do something, it is a milestone along your journey to ultimate success. Don’t give up!
“Show me a man who hasn’t failed and I’ll show you someone who isn’t trying.”
Courage and fear are essentially two sides of the same coin. They cannot be separated.
We forget those that quit the race, but we never forget those that persevered until the end.
They are our Legends.
Putting Courage into Practice – Take Action!
As I mentioned, courage comes in many sizes and flavors. Not everyone is going to be physically brave in the way that a firefighter or soldier might be. But that’s the point; we all show courage in different ways and that’s what we want. Diversity creates innovation that propels us to build on other’s achievements. We don’t need to be courageous in every aspect of our life and we certainly don’t need that to achieve something great.
Sometimes courage is a solo activity, like when someone is battling cancer. Sometimes it’s subtle, like the decision not to buy a company’s product when you don’t agree with their actions. Many times we work together to do courageous things. Think of the peace movements of the 60’s and the anti gun-violence movements of 2018. I’m not talking about a mob, that is a completely different human behavior based on fear and should be rejected.
The point is that courage is something that humans need to be successful. It’s how we make progress, physically, mentally, spiritually and socially. It’s what makes us human.
True courage is not about foolish, rash action, in fact it’s just the opposite. It is an evaluation of risk and reward backed up by bold action AND a plan. It is about being open to learning, experiencing and working with others to achieve your goals. Sometimes it means compromise. Real courage is likely something completely different to what you learned.
It takes courage to admit a mistake because we fear the repercussions of showing weakness. That’s a survival strategy that has its place, but only in certain situations.. Have the courage to accept your shortcomings, to learn, grow and change. And don’t forget to keep it silly. Taking yourself too seriously will kill your ability to listen, learn and change.
Courage isn’t a game of chicken. When it comes to courage, the old saying is very true.. “Discretion is the better part of valor.” There is no point in sacrificing yourself without achieving something that is important to you.
You have the power.
You have the power to make a decision.
You have the power to make a decision to be courageous.
You have the power to make a decision to be courageous about something in your life.
That decision will lead you to a realization that our fears are what keeps us from achieving what we want in life. Don’t let that be your story.
Choose the power of courage.
Founder and CEO 3rdNut Tribe