On courage

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Courage has been on my mind. What pushes us to do something courageous? What impact does it have on our life when we are able to act courageously, or not?
Is there something you want so badly that you can feel it in every fiber of your body, but you can’t have it unless you are courageous in a way that you’ve never been before?

As you may have seen on Instagram, I have been working on short video blogs and am in the process of trying out something new with them. This work makes me very excited but also scares the heck out of me. And one thing is particularly scary: the work will only be successful if I bring a lot of courage to it. Yes, there have been plenty of things that I do that require courage: start a business and begin writing these Weekly Letters. But for some reason, this is something different.

Video requires us to face our fears about who we are and what we have to share, head on. We have to look straight at ourselves (on video!) and learn to answer the question: what special value do I bring to the world?

I opened my agenda this morning and found this quote for the week by Anais Nin: “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

There are so many powerful things we can do with our lives, but they are also often the things that make us afraid. Those powerful things, like using video to help people think differently about the way they buy things, or whatever avenue that lights you up and terrifies you, have the power to open up our lives. They give us the power to use this one precious life we have to plant some giant trees.

Yet this can feel like A LOT of pressure. My fears followed me through the weekend, knowing that come Monday morning I would once again square off with courage, which would look me straight in the eye and ask “do you have what it takes?” The word “courage” caused me great anxiety because it inevitably pointed to this question. My fear wanted to scream “What if I’m not good enough to have my dream?!?!”

And then today I came out of the storm a bit. I realized that the answer to this question is: of course I am. I am, you are, we are good enough. Courage, when it comes to pursuing your dreams is NOT a matter of bringing something more or better, or different to the matter at hand than who you are and the gift you bring to the world.  

But those gifts are only truly accessible when you cast off the blanket of doubt, of unworthiness, of fear of being great or being bad or somewhere in between. In other words, reaching our, grabbing your courage and running toward the goal is not a matter of being something better.  It is a matter of shedding that blanket of self-doubt that held you back from being who you are.