Don’t let fear control you: how to create courage

Courage isn’t the absence of fear, but rather having fear and taking action anyway. Most people wait for their fear to disappear before taking risks.

Good luck with that one.

What people fail to realize is that if you don’t have fear, courage isn’t needed.

It’s only when you have fear to ask for a raise, to tell someone you love him, to start a new business, does courage become a useful tool.

A friend of mine once said, “it only takes three seconds of courage to alter your life forever.” I’ve taken that to heart and started seeking out areas where I’m afraid to take action. I realized that when I’m afraid, the future is calling me forward. Obviously I’m not talking about stepping into moving traffic, where fear is appropriate and effective. Rather, this is about making that business call or asking someone to be involved in a project or join my board of directors. For me, fear in those situations feels the same as stepping into moving traffic, even though it makes no logical sense given that my survival isn’t being threatened.

Recently, I was afraid to go to the doctor and get a test done.

My fear was based on thinking he would find something wrong and then I would have to take action to deal with it. I avoided the doctor for months. Finally, I listened to my own advice and reminded myself that “it only takes three seconds of courage,” and I took the moment to make the appointment. Once it was made, I knew I would go. I had the test and all was well, but the point is that the fear stopping me took more of my energy and aliveness than the reality of going to the doctor.

I am inviting you to play the two-step COURAGE GAME with me. Here is how you play:

1. Everyday, muster up three seconds of courage to take a risk you would not normally take in an area that’s important to you.

2. Share what happens with others. You will be developing your muscle of UNMESSABLEWITHNESS every time courage wins over fear. Fear isn’t going anywhere, but you can triumph over fear and be UNMESSABLEWITH in the face of anything life throws at you.