Courage Growth Learning Purpose

You’re not as courageous as others think you are

Daring something that’s considered risky is often less an act of courage than outsiders think.

You’re just better prepared.

Let me explain.

First, for context purposes, ‘dare’ is the third cue in my playbook. Dare follows ‘pause’ and ‘be.’ I know, a bit of a soft opening, but it matters to the story.

You may recall that my recent departure from a corporate role was considered courageous by some. They shared some nice comments with me.

While appreciative, I never considered it an act of courage.

It was an act of logic. 

Logic that followed from a higher degree of self-awareness I have now versus the past. 

Add to that my firm desire that I want to do work I love to do and at a company where I can be who I am (and conform enough to fit in).

Daring something that’s considered risky is often less an act of courage than outsiders think. That explains the title of this insight.

Climbing Mount Everest is less dangerous when you’re prepared. Firing somebody at work is less scary when you’re prepared.

Daring to do something new, surprising, or risky is less courageous when you’re prepared.

The less prepared you are, the more courageous it becomes. 

But one could argue that in that case, courage and stupidity are close neighbors.

One good tactic is to write down everything you’re afraid of before you decide to take on your ‘daring’ adventure.

And then to go over those fears and assess how you would mitigate them. If you then can overcome those fears and commit, you’ve done the best preparation you can do.

And if you can’t, you still have fear inside of you.

That then leaves the question of whether you’re willing to take the risk or not.
Leaving the corporate role was not an act of courage for me. I know who I am, and I know what I want out of my life.

My only hesitation was the commitment I made to myself, to my team, and my boss. I do have a sense of loyalty inside of me.

But I’ve also learned that people move on and that I would have been miserable.

Upon reflection, one could argue that the more courageous decision was to agree on the role in the first place.

I know I surprised many people, including myself.

I also know I prepared myself as well as I could. I had many conversations. I studied the company. I drove the road to work to see how the commute would be.

I followed a meticulous decision-making process well described in my insights. But you’ll only find out what reality looks like when you dive in.

You can, and should, prepare as well as you can for what you consider a risky adventure.

And there’s always the unknown.

There’s always a chance things will not go as you envisioned and prepared for. That’s what happened to me.

That’s the risk you take, and that’s what you prepared for. If you did your job, the risk is calculated.

The daring act of courage is, in the end, the fraction of a second you decide to go for it. 

In most cases, you will succeed because you prepared yourself.

And if you don’t, you learned a lesson.

Your turn: what’s a courageous act you’re considering? How are you preparing yourself?

Do more of what makes you happy!


NB. This is the third publication in a series of ten connected to the 10 cues in my playbook “MIND.SET.GROW. – 10 life-changing cues for success and significance”.

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