The one thing you need to get to the next level

Feb 02, 2020

Courageous people are a different breed than me.

Courageous people are those who do scary, hard things - like Navy SEALS, First Responders. Or people with illnesses or challenges that persevere…

Courageous people do really badass shit outside the realm of possibility for me.

I did not see ME as someone who did hard things.

About 10 years ago, my boss & I were talking about something I needed to do to move to the next level in my profession.

I told her I wanted to do it, and described in detail my terror & self-doubt I was.

As I outlined all the possible ways I could fail - she stopped looking at me.

I thought she was done with our conversation - but she’d taken out a piece of her stationery & wrote something down on it, then slid it across her desk to me.

It said, “Without fear, there cannot be courage.”

HUH? I was so confused by what she’d written.

I thought - Nahhh. This isn’t right. Courage is for other people!

Courage is for people who are NOT afraid. For people who are ready to do scary shit!

I’m not COURAGEOUS!

She could tell by the look on my face that I DID NOT get the depth of her little note.

She said, “You don’t have to get over the fear before you do the thing. You do the thing EVEN THOUGH you’re afraid.”

I looked at her quizzically.

So, you’re saying that all these people who do the things - they are AFRAID when they do it??

She smiled & said, “ABSO FRICKEN LUTELY.”

This moment was the one of first times I remember hearing (or really understanding) that I had the power to do something hard - EVEN IF I WAS AFRAID.

I mean - even though this is literally the ENTIRE plot of The Wizard of Oz, I never applied this to my own experiences.

Consider my mind BLOWN!

I drove home that night & thought about all the places in my life where I’d done things EVEN THOUGH I WAS AFRAID AT THE TIME.

College was a big one: I went to a school 8 hours away from home, even though NO ONE in my family had EVER gone to college before. I didn’t believe I was smart enough to get into college, much less through college.

I was terrified. And excited. But mostly terrified. But I WENT. And graduated!

So, there was THAT.

Once I started thinking about some of the courageous things I’d already done, the mental list just started flowing.

  • The toxic relationships I’d released myself from.
  • The leaps I’d made in my professional life. My personal life.
  • The hard conversations I’d had.
  • The moves to new cities I’d made.

Yes, yes - I wasn’t a SEAL…buuuut that doesn’t mean I didn’t have courage. I can see now I’ve taken PLENTY of chances to try something new.

 

Where have you already been courageous?

You’ve ALREADY done courageous things.

What’s the next thing you need to tackle to get to the next place you want to go in your life?

I personally still have work to do in this arena.

I’ve realized I’ve confused COURAGE & determination with something not-so-good:

OVERWORKING. Grinding. Hustling.

About 2 years ago, a trusted colleague & friend said with great admiration, “I don't know ANYONE who works harder than Jen Liddy.”

I POSITIVELY beamed with pride.

Yasssss, I thought! I made it! I’m a success -

People NOTICED how hard I worked & it paid off!

But over the years, I saw a diminishing return on the success. I kept grinding…overworking - maybe even hustling - and I got T.I.R.E.D.

My business coach kept telling me that HARD WORK wasn’t the way to success. That I had to make SPACE in my life -

Space for fun. Freedom. Play.

But - I’d worked hard my whole life. That was part of who I am. My identity!

I was terrified to lose that piece of myself - what if it meant I would lose my success? Or my identity?

And THIS my friend, is where COURAGE came into play.

I had to find the courage to stop grinding & overworking & make SPACE.

I’ve been terrified to do it. And have been focusing on scaling back on the overworking.

That took COURAGE.

Recently, that same friend said to me, “You work way harder than I do.” And I said, “Thank you” - and then realized she wasn’t saying it as a compliment.

She was saying, “I see you’re still working too hard. You don't have to keep up that pace.”

It was humbling - but another great moment for me to see myself more clearly.

I still have work to do around this idea of “letting go”. Of playing. Of stopping.

For me, it takes courage to let in EASE.

It sounds ridiculous, but it’s hard for me to think that success could be easy.

And I have evidence that the more I practice that thought & do that work - of allowing for ease - the BETTER, happier, & more successful I become.

What do YOU need courage to do?

Maybe unlike me, what you need is to put your nose down in your computer and work a little bit more consistently. Like, write that damn book you’ve been wanting to write~

Or start that Instagram page for your business - the one you’ve been afraid of because you don’t wanna be seen.

Or back away from a toxic friendship because it depletes you - but you’re afraid to hurt that person’s feelings (even though they likely hurt you daily).

Remember - courage is personal. It doesn’t look the same for everyone.

Maybe your courage was to pick up the phone & ask for an interview you want for your podcast.

Or it took a lot of courage to say NO to your partner.

Or it took ALL your courage for the day to go into that yoga class by your damn self!

Don’t judge what makes YOU courageous. It doesn’t look the same for me & you.

Carrie Fisher has a great quote to help you remember this lesson:

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”

I encourage you this week to take one courageous step forward. To be afraid and DO IT ANYWAY!

This month, the free training for you is all about how to SET & GET courageous goals!

Have you had a list of goals for a loooong time but haven’t been able to activate on them, then this is the training for you!

I don’t offer a sales pitch in these trainings. It’s a way for me to do what I love - teach - and give back to my community.

Thanks for reading, my friend. I’m glad you’re here & will meet you back here next week!

Xo, Jen

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