Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Courage

How does one gain the verve and spirit to become courageous?

I realize - in multiple parts of my life - that I have essentially developed the art of waiting for permission (or at least acceptance) prior to beginning virtually any activity that involves anyone else. It's as if I wait to get permission to act, rather than act. And from what I can see, it's both disappointing and frustrating to others - as was related to me, "Are you going to do anything, or are you going to just sit there and twitch?"

"Courage is always expressed in the willingness to go forward, to face danger, to take risks with no guarantee of success...Courage is essential to success in all activities that call for risk and daring." - Brian Tracy, Victory

This is something I need to come up with - not only for myself, but for all of those around in the situations I find myself (work and home). People are looking to me to act, to be courageous enough to take a step, to push things through.

But inside I cringe because I'm looking for approval prior to executing the action, not after it succeeds. I don't quite know where the originates from, only that if I look deep within my heart I find it to be true in situation after situation. To think myself brave - to psyche myself into acting like I should act prior to doing so - almost seems the height of fantasy or an illusion that I am knowingly trying to perform, waiting for the balloon to collapse at the first sign of opposition. It's the sensation of putting on a mask and acting unlike yourself and knowing it.

But if it feels uncomfortable (and it often does) is that valid? Or is it the fact that I am so used to acting another way that it is not that it is wrong, but that it simply is different? The two are not the same.

To wait forever for permission is to eventually lose. To go forward without the guarantee of approval is uncomfortable and sometimes risky but may entail winning once in a while.

So what is it today? Twitching - or winning?

"No great battles are ever won on the defensive." - Napoleon

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