Today’s Monday Mindset: When Fear Strikes…
So I was recently MCing a wedding, and one of the people who was lined up to speak got cold feet, and at the last minute didn’t actually want to give their toast.
And so, the groom and I were out in the hallway trying to just ease the worries of the person who was due to be giving this speech. And they had just kind of gotten completely locked up and was like, “I can’t do this. I hate public speaking. I just don’t want to do it.”
And we did our best to just ease his concerns and let him know, sometimes it’s just best when somebody’s really fearful of something or feeling anxious, to walk them through the worst possible scenario, and to help realize that even the worst possible scenario isn’t actually that bad for most things in life.
And so, we walked him through it and then he did what any of us have to do anytime we’re struggling to find courage, and that is we have to thrust ourselves into it and just go for it, and that’s what he did.
And he got up there behind the podium and he paused, and I told him, I said, “Don’t worry about looking at your notes. It’s completely fine to look at your notes when you’re speaking. Even pauses to look down and read what your next sentence is, is completely okay. I do it all the time myself, and it could be super, super helpful. And being patient is actually one of the signs that you’re confident as a speaker.”
So anyway, he did just that. He did a great job.
He actually had very little to be worried about because he actually presented himself in a confident manner and he spoke well, and it was short and sweet and hey, at a wedding, everybody loves short and sweet.
And I say all of that to say that courage isn’t the absence of fear.
Even I was feeling nervous MCing this wedding, and I’ve just done it so many times that I’m just used to the nervousness, and I’m used to just embracing having to be courageous in the moment, but courage is like a muscle and it’s not the absence of fear. Courage isn’t the absence of fear. In fact, it wouldn’t even require courage if there wasn’t fear. So actually, fear is required to act courageously, but courage is the willingness to act despite the fear.
And we all have times in our lives that we need to act courageously. It might be a courageous conversation, having a difficult conversation with somebody, to share how you really feel. It could be the courage to take a stand for somebody. If you’re a student or an athlete, somebody who maybe isn’t being treated well by others, and taking a stand for them, somebody else, and saying, “That’s not okay.” Or maybe it’s the courage to start a business or pursue a dream that you’ve always wanted to pursue. All of those things require courage, but it’s not the absence of fear. It’s courage through the fear.
And what I’ve come to realize in my life is that courage is a muscle, and you can strengthen that muscle every day by just finding small ways to go through something that requires an act of courage.
It’s one of the reasons if you’ve heard in the previous video, why I have ice-cold showers every morning, because it’s like 10 seconds of courage every single morning to get into that ice-cold shower. And after a minute, could turn it hot for 30 seconds and then go back cold again. Why? I do that just to build the courage muscle.
And so my challenge to you today is if there’s something you’ve been holding back from taking an action step on due to a lack of courage, just know that everything you do is always building a muscle that’s helping you or hurting you. And if you take an action that is an act of courage, it will help strengthen that courage muscle for the future.
So put that into practice, look for opportunities to take and show courage, even in the midst of fear or anxiety.
And that’s your Monday Mindset.
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