Practicing Courage:My first time on a snowmobile
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear. - Mark Twain
For Christmas I was given snowmobile boots and a helmet. (It’s important to note that I have NEVER in my life ridden on a snowmobile, let alone driven one.)
But, a certain someone purchased a second snowmobile so that I, the snowmobile virgin, could partake in the sport this past winter.
Hell, anyone who knows me knows that I am always up for trying something new. And I was raised in Michigan for goodness sake! Yet, I must admit that the idea of being in charge of driving that very large, very heavy, very loud piece of equipment terrified me. (Just a bit.)
After a mild winter the forecast gods brought in a snow storm that allowed us to go up to Utah and “ride” this past weekend.
You might be thinking that I agreed because I am the supportive GF. Or because my Christmas was snowmobile themed. And that may be true, but there’s a much bigger reason...
I have learned through many small (and large) courageous acts that facing fear head on results in MAJOR growth.
And while riding a snowmobile might not seem like the likely scenario for growth, for me it was - because I was afraid.
(And that fear grew every time someone shared a story about a snowmobile mishap 🙄.)
So when I climbed up on the (very loud) snowmobile, put on my gigantic helmet, and was told I was ready - all the things happened.
The sweaty palms. The heartbeat racing. The mental checklist of all the rules.
But, as Mark Twain shares in his quote - courage isn’t about not being afraid, it’s about taking action even when you are afraid.
And so I did.
I ever so gently (because, rules) squeezed down on the gas and threw myself into the fear.
Did I do it perfectly? Hell no. I fumbled my way through that ride like a true virgin. But, I did it. (And I had fun!)
You may be wondering why my story about riding a snowmobile can be even remotely relevant to you, so I’m going to tell you...
Courage is a muscle that needs to be flexed on a regular basis. We aren’t born courageous, much like we aren’t born with a six pack and full biceps - we need to practice it.
Therefore, demonstrating courage over and over becomes a habit.
The (sometimes overwhelming) act of taking on a challenge, however small or silly it may feel, creates a habit of taking action. So when it’s time to face a difficult or scary situation we are more conditioned to act.
And many times, facing one fear will inspire you to face others. Once we start the process we gain the confidence to take bigger steps.
If we sit around hoping that we will gain the courage to do something (and fail to act) - what do we expect to really change?
From fighting a severe illness, moving cross country, leaving a toxic relationship and saying yes to being a single mom, or starting a business - they all required me to use that muscle memory and flex. And each one opened up a new opportunity...
Maybe all of this talk about courage has gotten you to start thinking about your own life. You know, the “what if’s”. (The possibilities.)
What if I could...
...start an exercise program to get back in shape
...quit my job to pursue something else
...commit to changing my relationship with food
...leave my toxic relationship (or take the next step in one)
...be completely authentic and not care what others thought of me
...give myself permission to relax
Maybe you had a dream at one point in your life that you didn’t fulfill. If you’ve quit on a dream, and you find yourself returning to it - ACTION.
Just remember, waiting, making excuses and giving in to the resistance just shrinks our will to “do”.
So, I’ll say it again. Act.
(If you need to create a plan and cultivate some support - do that too. Get a coach, a mentor or enlist a friend for accountability.)
Oh, and one more thing. When we face that fear and take action, in addition to flexing that muscle, we are gifted with something. Maybe it’s the joy of the accomplishment, the resolve of making a decision, or an opportunity.
Or in my case...a beautiful view.
Don’t miss out on the beauty because you don't hit the gas.
Here’s a question for you. In 5 years, if you look back at today, what courageous act would you tell yourself to take right now?
Figure that out. Share it with me in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can support you or share in the comments below so more people can support you.
Then...go do it or create a plan to do it.
P.S. If you know there are things you want to take action on, but you need a little help in preparing - support helps. That’s why I created the Refresh VIP Day. Whether you know what you need to act on or you don’t, it is the perfect opportunity to set aside time to do a little work, get a little relaxation in, and surround yourself with like-minded women.
The next VIP Day is in 3 weeks, on April 13th, out at Lake Las Vegas where you will even have the opportunity to be courageous and try some paddleboarding. I’d love to have you there, and I’d love to support you in creating a plan and taking action. From now until April 1st I am offering a special bonus - $50 off registration + a 30 minute coaching session with me prior to the event where we can really hone in on the area you wish to focus. Check out all the details here!