When I was growing up, every year the Wizard of Oz would come on TV and the family would gather to watch it. My favorite scene was when the Wizard gave the Lion, Tinman, and Scarecrow their “gifts”. So, often when the subject of courage comes up, as it did in last week’s blog, I think of what the Wizard said to the Lion:
“You have plenty of courage … All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”
The Lion’s stance changed dramatically as he accepted his gift and stepped into his courage role.
When you have confidence, how easy is it to actually take action? To take a risk? From my personal experience, it varies. A series of firsts: Ziplining, a breeze. Selling a concept to a room of senior executives, exciting. Teaching a class of 100, a stretch. Walking into a gallery with my paintings, terrifying. What I know is that the closer the action was to my ego, the louder the voices were in my head telling me to turn around, that the risk was too high.
How much of the lip service we give to risk is true? We’re great at imagining the worst case; not so great at doing the same for the best case. Yet, it’s knowing the impact that taking the risk will have that gives you the energy to move forward and take action. If it doesn’t work out the way you envisioned, it allows you to keep going and to try another approach. You stick with it because you know why it’s important.
This week: Think back to the last time few times you took a risk. What motivated you? How many times did you have to change course to succeed? If it didn’t work out, what did you learn? What would you do differently? Now, give yourself credit for stepping out of your comfort zone. You’re doing great.
In Next Week’s Post: We continue expanding your influence with courageous conversations in the face of conflict.
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