Confidence or Courage?

My friend has a dream.  Her dream is to create and sell her art; she has a deep longing to bring more beauty into this troubled world.  She has already launched her art business, set up her studio, created her website and is happily making art in her spare time.

… spare time.

You see, she’s still working the J.O.B. and the dream is sitting on the sidelines.

For now, it’s just a dream and will stay a dream until that internal shift happens to tell the world that she means it.  For now, she’s waiting for the “right time.”

Waiting for the right time

Waiting for the right time to move your business forward is like waiting for the right time to have a baby.   It never happens.  The list of excuses drags on and on… We need to get our debt under control first, let’s wait for the tax refund to come in, and finally, if we do it now I’ll/we’ll be walking away from something else important.

We want the signs blazing, the arrows pointing straight and all the breadcrumbs in a clear trail leading directly to success.  All obstacles should be cut down to a manageable size; you want to know every hazard in advance, so you can plan for them.

Until all the signs are positive, we honestly believe it’s better to stay safe than sorry.

It’s like we’re waiting for the world to give us permission to be who we are really supposed to be.  We want a divine sign that says – yes!  Step forward!  It’s time to leap NOW!

News flash:  The world will not grant you permission.  It will never wait for you to leap.

It’s a paradox

So here you have it:  you’re afraid to leap until you are confident, and you will never find your confidence until you leap.

You may have the best business idea, the most incredible art, the most adorable useful gadget, and talent out the wazoo.  Without the courage to leap, followed by determination and persistence, you will never move forward.  You spend your life fantasizing about what could have been.

It is time to find ways to scare yourself.

Afraid to speak up in a meeting? Do it anyway.  Afraid to reach out to someone? Do it anyway.  Afraid to sing in public?  Get your butt to a karaoke bar and do it anyway.

Here’s why

Putting yourself in a situation that makes your heart race with fear changes your physiology.  Your body shifts into a fight or flight mode and releases all kinds of endorphins to put you in fighting shape.  They dilate your eyes, reduce blood flow to the extremities and heighten alertness.

The released endorphins also stimulate pleasure and excitement.  That’s the part that’s useful when taking a risk, stepping into a scary place you’ve never been before.  There’s a reason that extreme sports have such devoted followers – scaring yourself feels great!

Scaring yourself builds stamina, increases resilience and frankly, once it’s over, you feel like your name is Captain Guts.

When you scare yourself, you become more confident.  As your confidence builds, your courage does too.  You’ll reach farther and you’ll start sooner because you have the endorphins to carry you through.

If you can survive that leap of faith, you can survive anything!

Comment below and share a time when you scared yourself.  What was it like?  What did you learn?

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