Be Courageous

October 22, 2012

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We all have two choices: We can make a living or we can design a life.-Jim Rohn

I know it’s only October, but I’ve already been busy plotting away at my 2013 goals.  What do I want to accomplish? What dream do I want to fulfill? How am I going to make a difference this coming year?  I haven’t always been this way.  I hate to admit I’m somewhat of a free spirit, I’ve lived my life haphazardly, not thinking about how the choices I was making would impact my future. 

On January 1, I would be all fired up about what I was going to do that year and  many times by  January 30th, the fire would fizzle.  I would make excuses, well when this particular thing is perfect then I will be able to accomplish this or that.  It took having a near death experience this year to change the apathetic and complacent mindset that there is always tomorrow to do what I was meant to do.   I’ve since discovered that fear and not having a WHY is what was stopping me from moving forward with my goals, dreams and purpose.  So, with that all said, for this Monday Morning Latte I’m sharing Chance Scoggins blog on Trading Confidence for Courage with you.  He says it all so perfectly, I didn’t think it made sense for me to recreate it.  And if I could give a little advise, don’t let near death be the impetus for you to step out of the fear and live your life on purpose.  Enjoy…

Trading Confidence For Courage- By Chance Scoggins

My friend, Kate, has a dream.  Strike that.  She was absolutely, positively born to do the thing she’s dreaming of.   I’m sure of it – not just because it’s her dream, but also because her idea will better the world.  It’s one of those things where you say, “That hasn’t been done yet? Why hasn’t that been done yet?!  Are you still here talking to me?  Get up and go do that!” 

This week, Kate and I had dinner and when I asked her for an update, she said, “Well, not much has changed since we last talked about it”.

“Come on”, I said.  ”It’s been two months. I know you’ve got stuff to tell me.”

“No, really.  I’m basically at the same point.”  She relayed the few small steps she’d taken, and I’ll admit that when she was done, I was disappointed.  Not at her, of course, but for her. 

It didn’t add up.  It didn’t make sense.  Why was she standing still with something wonderful waiting to be revealed?  Kate is uncommonly gifted.  She’s smarter than most of us.  She’s great with people.  Super focused.  Super capable.  But it turns out, she’s also super scared. And as we talked, I could sense her own disappointment and frustration.  She admitted she’s been dragging her feet, but couldn’t say why.  And then, almost by accident, she stumbled into some words that have stuck with me all week long.

“Chance, I know what I bring to the table.  I’m confident in my skill set.  I’m sure I’ve got a great idea, and I know I’m the person to do it.  But every time I try to step forward, something in me hesitates, and I have to step back.  I’m confident… but I’m not courageous.”

 Immediately, I knew she’d said something important, and I’m still chewing on her words days later.  When you peel back the layers underneath the surface, you realize that we all struggle through those feelings.  Either that, or we give up too soon and settle for a lesser life.

Confidence is important, but it can only carry you to comfortable and familiar places.  Study for the test – prepare for the interview, and you’ll grow confident in your ability.  Hone your craft – climb the ladder, and you’ll grow confident in your reputation.

But to choose the road less traveled, unsure of what’s ahead –

To relinquish the safety of what’s familiar –

To pursue what’s unproven –

To resist conformity and mediocrity –

To leap beyond your comfort zone –

All for the hope that something better waits for you and the world around you…

These things take courage.

We can’t wish, plan or dream our way to courage.  We can’t hope our way to courage. And unlike confidence, we can’t muster it up on our own.  It comes from a deeper place, an inner knowing, the whisper in our heart calling, “Come. This way. This is what you were made for.” Without that assurance, we can only operate out of a self-made and wavering confidence.  But with it, courage promises to change our lives, the world around us, and potentially generations to come.

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Courage is messy.  It doesn’t wait for everything to feel right.  It steps out without knowing all the details.  It moves before it has all the answers, before it can predict the future.  It isn’t shaped by what others might think.  Courage has got stuff to do.  It moves boldly, unapologetically and now!

Most of us make our choices based on comfort.

We hesitate to move until things “feel right”.

I just need to get through this hectic season.

I’m working on my plan.

I need to save a little more money.

Just a little more research, and I’ll be ready.

We spend our lives waiting for a day that never comes.

Somewhere along the road, we’ve lulled ourselves into thinking that if we’re good people and do good work, we can take life as it comes and everything will work out just as it’s meant to. To me, this is a grave mistake.

There’s so much more to life than most of us are living.

But it’s not enough to have a dream – or even a plan.

It’s not enough to master our craft,

Or to be a good person.

It’s not even enough to be confident you can do it.

If we’re going to become who we were meant to be,

If we’re to do what we were meant to do,

We’ve got to put complacency and apathy on notice,

We’ve got to live boldly and with great courage.

My friends, it’s hard to interrupt old patterns and create something new.  I know.  I feel the ache, too.  But consider this question that Kate and I are asking ourselves this week.

What if you are one bold and courageous move away from changing your life and the world around you?

If you don’t decide what your life is about, it defaults to what you spend your days doing.  ~Robert Brault


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