Courage: the choice to own it

We don’t take on that many opportunities to exhibit courage. We may turn away from them. We may pretend to not see them. Or, we dismiss them outright saying that isn’t for me or that isn’t my skillset. But it is through taking on these tasks and projects that we don’t have all the answers to or skills to employ that allows us to grow into the people we want to become. Sure we may not be there yet. But by taking on projects and tasks just outside of our current skillset, this allows us to stretch and to grow into the new area we wish to develop. Yes, it takes some courage but you’re not going to war. It may feel like there is a war waging inside of you about what you should do, but it isn’t life and death. It is about growth in the areas that matter the most to you. Take on the project that is outside your comfort zone. Shoot the video. Perform the talk on your expertise (or not on your expertise). Create the online course. Do something that really stretches you professionally (and personally). Take on that opportunity that you normally wouldn’t. Work hard at it. Rehearse and practice the hell out of it. Own it. Then, do it. Then, see how you feel. If you’re like others who have done this, you will discover that you are more capable than you realized. You have untapped skills that lay dormant you didn’t know you had. It should inspire you and make you wonder what else you’re capable of. Few things build early confidence than taking on a task that you didn’t think you could and then nailing it. It turns out you’re better than even you knew. You don’t know how good you are or not until you put yourself out there. From there, you can calibrate in the field. Test it. Own it. Practice the hell out of it.

It is a strange notion to think that we need to do the very thing that we don’t think we can do. It is counterintuitive. It isn’t natural. We tend to shy away from these things. Or think we’re no good at them and dismiss our ability outright. We don’t give ourselves much credit. So many people didn’t think they could swim into adulthood. They were scared to death of the water. Then, someone challenged them to learn how to swim. They made a bet. They entered the water. With a coach, they gained early confidence and learned how to swim. Sure, it was intimidating at first. But they defied how they naturally felt and took the plunge. They got in the water despite their fear, and many won the bet.

So many people are scared to death of speaking or giving public talks. It is one of the most common, natural fears we all share. Yet people are giving public talks all day every day. Some people have to force themselves to the podium to speak. Some people have to nearly crawl up on stage in order to deliver their address. People act in spite of their fear of public speaking daily in order to deliver their message. They exhibit courage — feeling the fear and doing the act anyway. And it is that wonderful exhibition of courage that enables them to grow and become who they want to be.

Plenty of people hate the way they look on video. They dislike it so much that they refuse to be on it or use video as a distribution mechanism to spread their message. They’re missing out and likely know it. Their fear of video is so vast that they’d rather not do it than risk looking or feeling like a fool. Being on video is uncomfortable for many people. And yet millions of people each day are on video, shooting themselves or others in order to share a message. They’re working in video despite feelings of discomfort of being on camera or not knowing what they’re doing. And yet they move ahead with the project because they feel it is required. This is what they need to do in order to be of service here. Video helps spread the message like no other medium can. They move forward with video despite feeling awkward and not having all the answers.

Those who push forward through the difficulty and decide to do the thing anyway are the ones who exhibit not caring about looking bad. Or, not caring in the best possible way. They don’t care what happens — they’re still going through with the thing. This impressive attitude will earn friends and admirers. Note this does not mean that they don’t care about anything. They just don’t care about how “bad” going through with this scary thing makes them look. That’s all. They really want to try it. They want to see what it feels like to act despite the fear they feel. They want to exhibit courage. They want to win. They want to grow. They’re in it to see where it takes them. And when they’re finished, they wonder what they can do next.

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I’m a sales, marketing and tech Pro who creates content designed to help people solve problems and shift perspectives.

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