Courage is not defined as “action in the absence of fear, but rather as “action in the face of fear”.
Our success habit for September is FEARLESSNESS, so I’d like to tell you a story about facing your fears…
I have a six-year-old grey tabby cat named Alvin. He has been an indoor kitty since we got him as a kitten. He’s a skittish little boy who runs from all kinds of things – rustling plastic bags, loud sounds on the TV, you name it!
Alvin seemed to be content looking out the window, being brushed and pet while lying on the carpeted floor, and chasing the occasional flying bug in the house.
About a year into Alvin’s life, Motor came to live with us. Motor is a black cat who goes outside. He’s been going outside since he was a kitten. Motor is not skittish. He’s as cool as a cucumber. Motor is so cool, I imagine him with sunglasses, smoking cigarettes, with a tattoo or two riding a Harley. He hunts, visits the neighbors, and makes his rounds every day (every day that it’s not winter!). The only thing I can find that Motor is afraid of is thunder. He is quite fearless.
Alvin has been watching his brother-from-another-mother go outside and have adventures and then come back home to eat, bathe, and rest. Alvin’s curiosity would lead him to take a few steps onto the front or back porch in the summertime. As soon as any kind of noise happened, however, he was running for the door to the house!
Now, it’s six years into Alvin’s life, and it’s a glorious summer in Vermont! There are birds singing, warm breezes, and meticulously manicured gardens surrounding our home (thanks to my husband!). Could this be the season for breakthroughs? Alvin walks down the steps and onto the front lawn! He smells, he looks ahead to the front garden, then he slowly and methodically places each paw on the grass to get himself to where he wants to go. It’s like he’s been planning and practicing in his mind how he was going to get himself to sit under those big leaves of the hosta plants. As he sits on the fresh mulch, strategically placed between the hosta plants and the snapdragon flowers, his face speaks of pure contentment. He did it! He made it! He is appropriately proud of himself.
Why am I telling you this story about my cats in a blog about real estate teams? Because owning a business, and being in charge of its operations, takes courage. Sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly, we prepare to do what is necessary to achieve what we want, in the face of fear; we can choose fearlessness.
HOW TO BE MORE COURAGEOUS
Like Alvin, we can move forward in incremental steps:
- Watching and learning
- Imagining what we want to happen
- Imitating those successful around us
- Trying with small steps, small risks, and checking in
- Celebrating progress
- Building competence and confidence
- Managing the risks to go a little further
Alvin had a great summer! He explored the gardens, the neighbor’s front lawn, made it all the way around the house, caught grasshoppers and crickets, and could even stay outside with the door closed without panicking. Yesterday, I heard a grey squirrel chattering up in our maple tree. What was all that noise about? Alvin was sitting at the bottom of the tree, looking up, watching him, and patiently waiting for his next adventure!
Keep your dreams alive! Cultivate wins with fearlessness.
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