Monday, September 10, 2012

Real courage

Last Friday I quoted Nelson Mandela talking about our fear of success. When I looked up that quote, I saw another by him that goes to a topic I often hear raised by clients, too: courage. Some of my clients simply don't think they have it. But they do.

I'm guessing courage is something you've thought about more than a few times as well. Most of us are aware of those times when our fears get the best of us and hold us back. We often think that fear and courage don't co-exist.

But here's what Mandela said: "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man [or woman] is not he [she] who does not feel afraid, but he [she] who conquers that fear."

Or put another way that's often said, "Courage is facing your fear and moving ahead anyway." Yes!

I still have moments when my fears get the best of me. I am getting better at looking them straight in the eye, but some loom larger than others for me. And it takes me a while to move through the fear to the point where I feel I've triumphed over it. What I do know is this: When I openly face my fear (the huge gorilla in the room)—and talk about it—the fear shrinks to a manageable size. The gorilla becomes more of a monkey!

What's your experience of courage and facing fear?

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