Mustering Up Courage for Bold Action

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bold-actionMustering Up Courage for Bold Action

Not many people know this about me but I’m actually a very shy person and haven’t always found it easy to take bold action. When you see me on stage or here me on my Amplify Your Success Podcast, you might never guess that I’m introverted and need a lot of down time to be able to thrive in business.

Even if you met me at a live event you might not suspect that the younger version of me used to feel intimated whenever I met someone new. I shied away from doing anything that would feel scary. And yes, I struggle with change. Still. Even after running a business for 17 years.

One day in my early 30’s I was invited to attend a transformational personal development program.  I put it off for several months until a day my friend convinced me to just try it. Reluctantly, I enrolled. After the first 3 day training, I signed up for every course they offered. During the level 2 course I had a deep epiphany that if I wanted my life to be different I would have to be willing to get uncomfortable and shake up my life a bit.

My turning point took place in the middle of a very busy San Diego Gaslamp district on a Friday night where the event team made me slay a huge stuffed dragon. At 10:00 pm. When the streets were lined with bar hoppers.

I was terrified. But I knew I wasn’t going home until I slayed that dragon. So I stepped up and found an ounce of courage, ran into the middle of the intersection and fully slayed that huge stuffed dragon. I slayed that damn dragon with every ounce of drama and bravado I could muster up. The crowd went wild with applause and cheers. And instead of feeling shy I felt like I could conquer the world. I can now tap into that feeling every time I need to do something scary.

Courage.

The funny thing about courage is you only need it when you are terrified. And of course that is the time that is the HARDEST to muster up.

Every small business owner I know will be faced with difficult choices. There will be times when the journey is very bumpy. You’ll have failures. You’ll make mistakes. And you will want to give up. Or play it safe and take the easy route. If you don’t know how to muster up your courage it’s quite possible that you will let fear win and you’ll slink back into playing too small of a game.

You’ll be given opportunities you don’t feel ready for. You’ll get inspired by an idea, and have absolutely no idea how to pull it off. And you might be tempted to hold yourself back. You can’t afford to play small, my friend.

In my Own Your Bold Challenge, clients often need to find the courage to do the VERY thing that they are putting off. That challenge gets people to do things that they don’t think they can do. Whether they believe they don’t have the time — or they don’t feel capable — finding courage is a key ingredient to making a big business leap.

Here’s three of my favorite courage tips:

1. Win a Small Victory

Sometimes courage is found just by being willing to tackle a small step. Whether you try again the next day or make a difficult phone call, taking one small step towards your big audacious goal can create momentum. Small wins is what I teach on day four of the Own Your Bold Challenge, and its a huge mindset shift! Instead of having to do something really big, just take a few small steps and build up momentum. Easy-peasy, right?

2. Reconnect to Your Bigger Why

Once in a while, when you are totally terrified by your bold vision, it helps to remember why you got into this business in the first place. By reconnecting to your bigger why you can feel reinvigorated and find the strength to take difficult actions. Your big why provides a big incentive — kinda like remembering what’s really at stake. When you plug in to that motivation, its easier to feel unstoppable.

3. Just Do It, Damn It.

There are some moments when you have to have “one of those talks” with yourself. I remember a time at the top of a double diamond run on a ski slope where the terror of how to get down the mountain kicked in. Not being a very confident skier I was paralyzed with fear. I literally had to turn off the litany of fearful thoughts and “just do it.” I got down the mountain in once piece (and yes I did feel a bit more confident in the process. Sometimes my clients need a “just do it” moment to get over the fear and start feeling the energy of action.

In my experience, courage is not a mindset or a skill to cultivate. Courage is a choice we make in the monument.

Muster up the courage to take bold action.

Come join us in the Amplify Your Success Community (its FREE right now) and I’ll let you know when the next Own Your Bold Challenge starts!

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3 Comments

  • Alicia White

    April 18, 2015

    Thank you for sharing this, Melanie! I forget how much better and confident I feel after accomplishing something I’ve been worried about. If I would “just do it, damn it” sooner, I wouldn’t have wasted time worrying so much!!

  • Guest

    April 24, 2015

    I started adding “not yet”
    at the end of every thought I had about what I could not do. This really helped
    me when I went out to raise venture capital for my business. So I’d say to
    myself, “I don’t know how to explain our financial projections with authority …
    yet,” or “I don’t feel confident about getting up and pitching in front of a
    room full of investors… yet.” The “not yet” trick is my favorite way to keep
    from getting stuck and remind myself I just need get new skills.

    • Melanie Benson Strick

      August 18, 2015

      Great tip, thanks for sharing it!