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Do you consider yourself a brave, courageous person?  Are you the type who could base jump or get on a stage in front of 100,000 people without fear?

I’m not.  I’m working on it though (not the base jumping, exactly, but the bravery).

I loved the movie We Bought a Zoo and my favorite scene was the one with this quote:

 “All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and
I promise you something great will come of it.”

Two wonderful things happen when you’re courageous:

1)  You discover you can overcome fear.  Regardless of the outcome of your courageous moment, you prove to yourself that you can do it and survive.

2) Much of the time you discover that the thing you were afraid of was not only nothing to fear, but led to amazing things happening next.

Just 20 seconds…

Over the  last year I’ve tried more and more to just be brave for those 20 seconds in many areas of my life.  That first 20 seconds is really the hard part.  If you can get past that, you can do it.

It used to take me that 20 seconds of courage just to hit “publish” on a new post to my blog.  Now it only takes a few seconds of courage.  It gets easier.

Last year I sent out an email requesting testimonials… it sat in”draft” status for days before I got brave enough to hit send.  And afterwards I sat at my computer in tears as responses came back.

Yesterday I said yes to becoming an author in a group book project.  I’m terrified and excited.

In the past year I’ve been on stage for the first time for my business.  Trust me when I say you do not want to know how I reacted the first time to that experience.  The second time got easier.  If you were watching closely you could still see my hands shaking.  But it didn’t kill me, and (whispering) it was even a little bit fun.

Why am I sharing this with you?

When I asked you what your dreams and goals were, I saw a recurring theme of secret dreams… of things we want to do but we aren’t sure… our dreams are so often surrounded with insecurity of whether we can REALLY do that.

In the last year I’ve transformed my business completely from being an hourly service provider to bringing in most of my income through training and group work.  If you’d asked me 18 months ago, I probably wouldn’t even have been brave enough to admit to you that what I really wanted to do was teach and train.  And parts of my biggest dreams… I’ve only admitted to one person.  But that’s where it begins — recognize what you want and then commit to making it happen.

It comes from tiny steps of courage.  One at a time.  Building on each other.  For me, it’s just focusing on the very next thing I have to do and getting the support I need to do that.  At various points over the year it’s been hitting publish on a sales page, stepping through airport security (traveling alone used to terrify me), picking up the phone, and lots of showing up over and over again no matter how scared I was inside.  It didn’t always go smoothly.  Sometimes I failed and had to just know that I’d do better next time.

When you hear me say, “If I can do this, I KNOW you can do this” I believe it 100%.  In fact, I’d be willing to bet you’re probably starting out ahead of where I started with fears.  Think how much quicker you can do it!  And if you identify with where I’m coming from, just know you don’t have to let those fears stop you.

Be brave. You can create what you want.

If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your community.  Those following you and working with you (or waiting to discover you so you can help them!) need you to be brave for them.  Recognize that and allow it to become more powerful than your fears.

If you need a little inspiration here’s a great video to help you think even bigger about being brave:

My challenge to you: Today, do something brave. 

Maybe there’s a email you’ve been thinking of sending–asking a client for a testimonial, to connect with a colleague, submit a guest post to a bigger blog, find out about a speaking opportunity, reach out to work with a coach or mentor, reconnect with someone who’s fallen out of your life, tell someone you care about that you miss them and they matter to you.  Or maybe it’s something bigger that you’re ready to be courageous and do!

(And maybe you need to do it before you’re “ready”…)

Want accountability?  Share what your “brave” action will be in the comments below, then go do it!

Or, share a time you were brave and you’re thankful because something awesome happened as a result.