Remember the game we all played as kids, where to make a move, you had to wait for direction and then ask for permission? It seems like a lesson many of us learned well enough to carry into our adulthood and professions. But recently, a friend shared that she and her husband will be following their dream and passion to open a new restaurant in town. And since then, I have been mulling the question of courage.
It takes a good deal of courage to go out on your own and leave the security of a regular paycheck and benefits. Others who have started businesses have lost jobs and took it as an opportunity to go after their dream. Their pink slip became their “Captain, May I?” But courage isn’t without fear. Ambrose Redmoon said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
So, where do you find your courage? This friend above shared that she has been a part of the Flagstaff Leadership Program and after listening to her classmates for the past several months and all the wonderful things they are involved in, she found courage to follow her dream.
Put yourself in positions of witnessing courage. Find yourself in the company of those who are courageous. There is no shortage of courage in our community. Attend a few City Council meetings and listen to the citizens who stand up to speak passionately about their beliefs. Volunteer at any nonprofit and you’ll find an abundance of courageous efforts of those working for others in a time of adversity and a tough economy. A recent article in the Arizona Daily Sun discusses a recent budget cut to Bothands, a nonprofit housing agency in Flagstaff, and how the cut “has left it bloody but unbowed as it continues to offer” services. Witness or volunteer with the courageous members of A League of Neighborhoods as they have joined forces to increase their voice for their underserved neighborhoods.
Put yourself in the company of those who challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and challenge your attitudes and perspectives. In a recent coaching session, we were working with someone who was dissatisfied with her current position, and kept referring to herself as “just” an admin. We challenged the “just” qualifier as an attitude that was keeping her from achieving more and from others seeing her for what she could offer. She reports that her “attitude” adjustment has really changed the way she approaches work and has given her the courage to pursue her dreams.
Find a variety of ways to challenge yourself, both mentally and physically. Set out to do things you never thought you could do or are fearful to do. Eddie Rickenbacker said, “Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” It is fearful to challenge yourself, to take an honest look at yourself and ask what you are doing that isn’t working. Ask yourself: what are you not doing that you want or should be doing?
It becomes “Captain, May I” when you give yourself permission to be courageous, to pursue that which is more important than fear, to make difficult decisions, to change something in your business, your work, or your life to make it stronger, change direction, or to have the courage to say it’s not working and move on.
“Captain, May I” becomes “Captain Courageous” when you don’t need to give yourself permission because you have to follow your dream, you have to do the right thing, you have to DO! FBN
Trish Rensink and Jamey Hasapis of the BelleWether Group bring over 20 years experience with Fortune 500 Companies inspiring businesses and business leaders to change what they do and become more successful; helping them navigate change, gain focus, define their direction, and develop highly effective teams. They can be reached at 928-853-8206.