“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
~Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo
Have you seen the movie, We Bought a Zoo? I haven’t, but I sure like that quote.
That force that moves you to do something when everything practical and protective inside you screams, “No, don’t do that!”
It was present in the moment I quit my job to work for myself, walking away from a decades-long career.
It was with me when I asked my first paying client for my full hourly rate.
It was what got me through my hesitation to submit my first speaking proposal for an audience of over 200 people.
And it was in the lump I swallowed when I let a guy at work know I was interested in exploring a connection.
Now, it may seem to you that those situations don’t require insane courage. Nor any measure of courage at all, for that matter. Honestly, right now it feels that way to me too.
But I sure remember what it felt like in the moment, when I was about to speak those words and hit that send button.
Rapid heartbeat, fear, insecurity, second guessing, vulnerability. They were all present as well.
Why did I do it then? Because, like Benjamin Mee, I believe when we suspend our fears and move forward courageously, even for a quick moment, “something great will come of it”. Busting through comfort zones allows us to see and experience more of what’s possible.
That’s not to say that moments like these turn out to be momentous happenings. Sometimes we don’t even obtain what we originally hoped for. Does that matter, though, if growth happens?
When situations don’t quite work out, what if we saw them as a chance to recalibrate, rather than as a failure? What if we celebrated our ability to ignore and overcome the little voice inside that says, “You can’t do that, you’re not _______ enough.”?
Those 20 seconds of courage can be life changing. They were for me.
What are you keeping yourself from saying or doing?
You know, that dream you’ve neatly tucked away in the corner of your heart for someday, or that impulse you’ve locked into the recesses of your brain. Yes, that!
If you’re tired of saying “someday”, try answering these questions with brutal honesty:
- When have you been insanely courageous? Mildly courageous? A teensy bit?
- What did it feel like before acting?
- What made you do it?
- How did you feel afterwards?
- Were you successful or were you offered an opportunity to recalibrate?
- Successful or not, what did you learn about yourself? What are you proud of?
- What’s the courageous action you need/want to take now?
- What’s important about that? What’s your why?
- How will you feel once it’s done? (Visualize it!)
- What’s standing in your way? Is it REALLY standing in your way?
Then ask yourself… What is the worst thing that could happen if you trusted yourself and boldly stepped forward? No kidding, what’s the very worst thing? Would avoiding that worst thing really be worth sacrificing your vision? (By the way, if it isn’t obvious by now, I didn’t die when a couple of those situations didn’t work out exactly the way I’d planned.)
Then take a deeeeeep breath and go for it…
…hit send, dial that number, say I love you, voice your idea, ask for what you need, buy a zoo!
Something great just may come of it.
Share your story! If you need extra motivation, I’m a great cheerleader.
If you made it happen, let me celebrate with you!