Moving Even When You’re Shaking

It often seems out of reach. Sometimes, it comes while our knees are still knocking. It can surprise us by how swift and bold it arrives especially when our big emotions usher it in like a tidal wave, giving us just the umph we need to carry out whatever hefty task is before us – like a mother bear protecting her cubs or a moment when we simply can’t stay silent. Other times, it can feel like pushing a car uphill just to summon a tiny bit of it. Often, we simply have to decide to step out in faith and let it meet us halfway.

IT is COURAGE – whether illusive or abundant, it’s necessary.

Why is Courage Necessary? 

First, let’s discuss the opposite of courage. Fear can be a good thing. It can signal danger or beckon us to careful consideration; but if we succumb to fear too often or when we aren’t in real danger, it can paralyze or keep us stagnant.

Stagnant isn’t a word we want associated with our lives or our work. Growth is generally the desired outcome. We need courage to stir the waters, to get out of the muck and find a place to run towards what we desire. Courage can be necessary for growth but also imperative for moving obstacles out of our way.

Some of us are more risk-averse than others. Unless you’re an adrenaline junkie, you might highly value comfort. There is nothing wrong with that; yet clinging close to your comfort zone can keep you from expanding your horizons and gaining more experiences.

How Can We Foster More Courage in Our Lives and Our Work?

Courage is a muscle. The more we step out of our comfort zone, the stronger our movement can become. Being more courageous takes practice. Here’s how:

  1. Change it up. If you want to tiptoe out of your comfort zone, surprise yourself and those who know you well. Order something from the menu that you have never tasted before. Try wearing a bold color or wild print you don’t normally wear. Baby steps can help you get more comfortable being uncomfortable.
  1. Try something new and out of the ordinary. Take a class and learn something new. Create your next design using a new medium. Don’t be afraid to be bad at something. Our society is so competitive that we have lost the joy of doing something just for the experience of it. We don’t have to master everything we attempt. There’s a lot to learn in the trying.
  1. Face the hard conversations. Say NO more often. If something crosses a boundary for you, speak up. When you need to have a frank discussion with a client, be forthright and make your case. Sometimes the hard thing is refusing to have the conversation. It’s okay to say you aren’t ready to talk about it, whatever it may be.
  1. Borrow one of our mottos: We’re prepared, practiced, and energetic; so we’re unafraid to shake up the status quo. Perhaps the best way to foster more courage is to show up ready, anticipating opportunities to shine. Be prepared with the knowledge you need and/or the questions you need to ask. Be practiced at your craft and ready to show your skills and earned wisdom. Arrive with the energy to meet challenges and bring high vibes. When you show up like this, you can be bold enough to push boundaries and exceed expectations.

Last Words of Advice Before You Dive In

It’s important to remember that courage is not the absence of fear, it’s simply the fuel that helps us push through the uneasiness. Don’t confuse discomfort with danger. If it’s discomfort you are feeling, discern if pushing through will get you closer to your goals. If the fear is alarming you to real danger, please make efforts to ensure your safety and ask for help if needed.

Finally, take every opportunity you can to show up prepared, practiced, and energetic; so you can be counted among the movers & shakers.

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