When I was in my mid-twenties, I didn’t have the courage to talk to strangers. I didn’t dare ask a cute girl out on a date, and I was mortified at the thought of speaking in front of a bunch of people.
If you’re thinking right now, “Michael, why were you such a wuss?”, the simple answer is that I was better at imagining all the things that could go wrong, than I was at focusing on all the things that could go well.
I lacked courage, and the fact that I didn’t feel courageous resulted in a great many poor choices. Because I didn’t have the courage to say no, and because it was easier to “go with the flow” than to dare stand out from the crowd.
Things changed the day I realized that my children were mimicking many of the things I did. The thought of them making a lot of the same bad choices I made myself bothered me so much that decided to change. This was at a time in my life when I heard over and over, “If you tolerate this (then your children will be next)" more times than I can count.
I started working on changing my courage. I “forced” myself to talk to strangers. I found the courage to ask a cute girl if she wanted to go on a date, just as I signed a contract to do 2 x 10 nights of teaching in front of a group of people I didn’t know.
I made a list of things I was scared to do - and I did them. Week after week and month after month, until I taught myself to be courageous.
Unfortunately, a lot of people (still) think they weren’t born with courage, just like I did. They forget that courage is a skill we all can work on. It requires courage (one of life’s little paradoxes) to do so, but it’s all worth it when your courage appears.
Champion boxer Muhammad Ali described it quite well when he said: “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” I agree with him completely. We’re all going to leave this earth someday, so why not go in 100%, run the risk, and feel life? If you do something stupid along the way, you can always consider that in a hundred years, no one will remember anyway. ;o)
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Tell me what you think in the comments below, and if you like the article, I would love for you to give it a “like” as well: