From Fear to Courage: Be Afraid and Do it Anyway
Mark Twain said, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”
Being scattered and not able to focus on one project at a time is a common problem. Often this is a result of our fear. We are afraid of failing, we are afraid of not doing what we are supposed to be doing. I believe that's why we all love productivity tips, hacks, tricks – anything to organize our messes and thoughts so that our lives are a transparent canvas on which we can paint our successes. When you have a lot of things you love to do, it’s hard to decide where to start. And for many of us (definitely me), it becomes impossible to start. So we rewatch a series on Netflix, or we do laundry, or we cook, or we clean up. When we are unable to have the courage to commit to one thing only, or when we are unable to have the courage to commit to moving forward in the life we know we are meant to live, we are pretty much assuring ourselves that it won’t get the attention it deserves – which means what? Failure?
Artists, writers, creatives – HAVE to have the courage to do what they do every day. Jennie Moraitis, in “Be brave: Creative Courage for the Artist” says artists filled with fear are people “wavering on the edge of a creative cliff and are nervous to make the leap.” Creative courage will never come if you let your fear hold you back. Using fear to make us productive helps us be brave. Courage is when you have self-doubt, and fear and you show up anyway. What exactly are we afraid of? Failure? And if we fail, what does that mean? That someone gets to say “I told you so?” To have the “perfect job” the “perfect” marriage, the “perfect” amount of money – “perfect” in this way is often for how everyone ELSE thinks you should live, and at the same time not giving yourself a chance to try to live your dream.
So? Move forward or stay put?
Remember, everything is impermanent. Life is impermanent.
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Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
What do people think and why or why not? Do you have the courage to leap for your dreams? Brene Brown says, “What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think – or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?“ She has also said, “Do not think you can be brave with your life and your work and not disappoint anyone. It doesn’t work that way.” The unknown is scary. Doubting yourself is the fear of going into the unknown. The only way through that is with courage. Courage isn’t the absence of fear! Being afraid doesn’t mean you aren’t strong. Courage means that you are overcoming that fear and moving forward.
Don’t procrastinate! Be brave and try something you haven’t tried before.
In an ArtofWellBeing article – they discussed how courage is what fuels all the other virtues: “cool stuff like passion, humility, honorability, integrity, truth, confidence, strength, and compassion.” Being afraid is part of being alive and part of being human. To have the courage, we need to step out of our comfort zone (remember, our bodies are protecting us by making us afraid.) In #90 of Steph Crowder's Podcast it was said, “Don’t be afraid to take up space.” If we are so used to bending and becoming and shaping ourselves into who everyone wants us to be, especially at work – we work to become who our bosses, owners, co-workers wish to us to be – But at what point do you say, HEY! I want my OWN shape!
Fear of making mistakes. Fear of taking chances with our work. Fear of making the wrong decision. Fear of being criticized. Fear of what others will think. When we continue with these fears – and don’t create the courage to move through it – this fear becomes a huge part of ourselves and paralyzes productivity until you recognize what it is. Fear completely sabotages our productivity. (Fear causes anxiety!) Fear of failure and perfectionism paralyze people (um, me) and prevents them from starting or completing what they know they should or could be doing. Figure out what went wrong, what you are afraid will go wrong, understand you will never be perfect, and move forward. Courage is the ULTIMATE productivity hack! And then when you get productive, it means you will have more courage to find success in whatever it is you wish to do. (Which came first? The chicken or the egg? RIGHT?)
Brene Brown says, “Have the courage to be imperfect.”
I don’t know where the brilliant sentence, “Attract what you want by being what you want” originated. We need the courage to become more of OURSELVES in life. It’s scary being yourself! Keep working toward your visions, whether you are supported outside of yourself or not. HONOR who you are and what you want. Be grateful and choose to be happy.
Let go of “But I’m supposed to.”
Let go of “But wait…”
Use your courage to follow your dreams.
Be deliberate. Get inspired. Do it!
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