Most people define courage as the absence of fear yet nothing could be further from the truth.
When I was younger, my life was dominated by all kinds of fears which would hold me back in all areas of my life.
Not long ago, I wrote a blog called ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway – really?’ I then went on to share the two biggest examples of ‘going for it’ in my life: leaving my marriage of 37 years and leaving my well paid job at the Institute of Directors.
These decisions took a long time before I felt able to follow through. In fact, in both cases I struggled and resisted for a very long time – years in case of my marriage! Finally, the time came when I felt ready to go for it. By then I had crossed over into my sixties, in itself an unsettling experience.
At last I reached a place where I felt totally clear and certain, and ready to make my move. I was able to do what the mere thought of doing had terrified me for so long. With my marriage, I had reached the point where the pain of staying was worse than the fear of the unknown. In the case of my job, the pull was the need to follow my heart’s desire: to become a life coach.
It would be natural to assume, going by these two examples, that all I have to do is wait until the fear goes away before I can make my move. However, in both cases there were other forces at play. In the case of my marriage, it was realising that I could no longer stay and that I deserved better. In the case of my job it was something else entirely, something more intangible but potent nevertheless: I had identified a calling that kept pulling at me.
What I realised was that, although fear never leaves, belief in my ultimate goal tends to feed me with courage and determination – so the fear is no longer as overwhelming. The last remnants of that fear dissipate when I do the thing I’m so fearful of doing. That’s why this saying is so profound: ‘There’s nothing to fear but fear itself’.
There are times when my Gremlin whispers dire warnings that slow me down and that, for a time, stop me from moving forward. In fact, I have countless examples where stopped myself from listening to my heart. Fortunately, they no longer last as long as they used to.
Today, at the ripe old age of 68, I continue to move forward – I continue to open myself to learning, growing, experimenting, creating. I finally know I matter, I finally know I make a difference, add value. This is the happiest time of my life.
Are you experiencing joy and fulfilment in your own life or is fear holding you back? Would you like to know how to create a rich and rewarding life, irrespective of how old you are? If you do, please contact me to arrange a free consultation:
The Life Enhancing Coach
Author of ‘Dancing with the Mask: learning to love and be loved’
Featured on BBC Radio 4 ‘Woman’s Hour’, ‘The Daily Mail’, ‘The Daily Telegraph’
Tel: 020 8940 7056
Mobile: 07903 795027