This edition is about Living Courageously: taking bold leaps of faith in the major areas in your life. By overcoming fear, you can empower yourself to transform your life into one which is meaningful and truly fulfilling.
I hope you find at least one idea to inspire and encourage you.
Leap and the net will appear. (Zen Saying)
Courage is resistance of fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. (Mark Twain)
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. (Anais Nin)
Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have. (Unknown)
Live Courageously: Leap Forward
Mastering Your Life through Action
How many times have you decided to do something … and then didn’t follow through? It’s wonderful to dream, visualize, and create plans, but to achieve success you have to make the choice to do something. Living your best life may require making big changes in your career, relationships, home, or health. Change can be scary because it creates uncertainty. But just because you can’t predict the future doesn’t mean you have to wait and see; instead, wait and do. Keep busy in productive and gratifying ways as events unfold.
Dale Carnegie, motivational speaker and author, once said: “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breads confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
Leap Now: Taking the First Step
Leaps of faith begin with passionate ideas, focused goal setting and positive thinking, but sooner or later you have to take action. My advice is to act now. You don’t have to know everything you’ll need to know to achieve your goals or meet your challenges. Do something. Start moving. Action creates excitement, builds momentum, and produces progress. As Martin Luther King said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Living courageously requires action and small leaps of faith.
Some of you know that I recently left my safe and secure part-time HR position after fifteen years. A career opportunity presented itself that would allow me fully pursue my passion for executive, life, and career coaching. Even so, I deliberated for months. I applied all the decision-making processes I use with my clients: I looked for alignment with my life purpose and career vision. I listed the pros and cons and best and worst case outcomes. I shadowed the position, and talked with friends and family. I am the first to admit there are no sure things in life, and yet this seemed like the right opportunity at the right time. I did my due diligence, then listened to my head, which said, “It looks good, I think you should consider making a move.” My heart said, “Let’s do it!” Always one to lean towards my heart, here goes — hopefully onward and upward!
Failure is a part of life. As the famous quote from the inspiring movie A League of Their Own says, “If it was easy, everyone would do it!” The ability to face fears and <ahref=”https://leapforwardcoach.com/grit/>grittily persevere separates the good from the truly great. The rapper Dessa recently spoke about using failure as a tool for self awareness, “If you pursue only those goals you know you’re really, really likely to achieve, you live like an iceberg with the vast majority of yourself undiscovered and unknowable, even to yourself.” In other words, be action-oriented, test your abilities, and determine your limits. Know that you might come up short or even fail. Use these experiences to learn more deeply about yourself.
So what happens when what you feared comes true? Acknowledge that every experience, the good, the bad, and the ugly, broadens horizons and creates new possibilities. Even a failure brings new experiences and builds resilience. Next, pinpoint what went wrong and why. Use the lessons learned to energize and guide you towards your ideal future.
Safety Is A Prison
Maintaining the status quo often seems like the safest course of action. It feels easier to avoid a friend than to pick up the phone and hold a difficult conversation. It can feel more comfortable to accept the frustrations of a dead-end job than to explore opportunities elsewhere. Failing to take action, however, creates a prison of safety. We become afraid to break free from the known, the secure, the present. Learn to live courageously by shaking off the prison of safety and moving forward to the life you want to lead.
Tips for Living Courageously
One of the most important steps in living courageously is taking action. Fear causes paralysis; forward movement gets you closer towards your life vision. Use these practical tips to inspire you to take a leap forward to bigger and better things.
- Practice “random acts of bravery.” Try something new or different on a regular basis. Making it a habit to break out of your comfort zone builds confidence and makes you a more interesting person. It’s easy to build excuses in support of doing the same thing day after day. Instead, seize the moment, allow yourself to take leaps of faith, and be amazed at what the universe may provide!
- Make an action list. Last month we discussed visioning as an inspiration to action. Similarly, creating a list of next steps, like signing up for a class, making a phone call, submitting a resume, or going on a date, can empower you to take control of your life instead of just allowing it to happen.
- Take the first step. Setting targeted goals and developing detailed action plans certainly supports goal achievement but sometimes figuring out the next step and taking it may be all you need to stop procrastinating and propel into action.
- Embrace accountability. It is tempting to protect yourself by keeping your goals and aspirations locked away inside your head. There is vulnerability in sharing these with others, but also strength. Reach out to your support network. Share your fears with a friend who will gently remind you of your strengths; share your ambitions with a mentor who will encourage you to stay the course towards your dreams.
- Live in alignment with your values & purpose. True freedom from fear springs from the belief that your actions are grounded in your values and life purpose. Live courageously, set goals, and take actions in support of what you believe in and who you want to be.
- Look before you leap. Caution can be a helpful tool when it comes to taking leaps of faith as long as it doesn’t hold you back from living the life you truly want. Rather than relying on blind faith, apply informed faith. Assess the situation, consider benefits and risks, and make as informed a decision as you can.
Further Reading on Courage
- Living Courageously: Here’s How (Psychology Today)
- Should You Take A Leap of Faith? (SFGate)
- Courage: Tap Greater Potential and Thrive Through Challenges (Inc.)
- Goal Setting: Taking A Leap of Faith (Wings For the Heart)
- Success Is Not Final, Failure Is Not Fatal
Focus on the Future …
How can you take a leap of faith to create a better life and career? Learning to manage fear and cultivate courage for long-term success is a rewarding process that results in personal achievement and deep satisfaction.
At Leap Forward Coaching we have a process that will empower you to move bravely and boldly towards your best life. We help you develop the character needed to overcome obstacles, confront your fears, and work to your strengths to learn how to lead a more fulfilling, successful, and rewarding life.
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