20th January 2020
The courage to meet the demands of fear. Part 1.
What comes to mind when you think of courage? A small boy may think of a lion as a symbol of strength, courage and gallantry since many were taught that the lion is the king of the jungle. In ‘The wizard of Oz’ bought to screen in 1939, the lion is missing the quality that should most define him: courage. As the story unfolds however, he discovers he always had it, he just didn’t show it.
Fear had crippled the lion’s ability to see himself as he actually was that he lived as a frightened coward, rather than the brave beast every animal feared. We assume lions are supposed to be dauntless no matter what the obstacles.
In the film ‘The lion king’ Musafa was a courageous lion, a protector of the family and land. Simba was still learning the ways of courage and to make matters worse, Simba’s uncle would immediately seek to undo everything that Musafa had taught the young lion by instilling fear into him. As you read this you must realise something. That you are a lion, at least symbolically speaking. You have the courage, but are you displaying it?
Are you Musafa or Simba? Average people don’t take risks and they know it. They choose comfort and security over opportunity. When asked, over 80% of people do not like the job that they’re in but they stay because they think they have to – they are afraid to change and fear where that change might lead. The average person is afraid to address certain topics in their relationship. The average person is afraid of being judged and criticised. Average people fear failure. Now many people reading this might have felt, ‘but I was worried about other people’s opinions when I first walked into the box, does that mean I lack courage?’ I’ll get back to that.
Just like the lion from Oz or Simba, you already have the courage but don’t celebrate it yet. You too, will have challenges that you must face so that you can display courage. As those lions did, you will have to come face to face with some hard-hitting realities about yourself. First you are a warrior, you are being called to win major battles in life. However, adversities and obstacles will occur. What happens then and how will you respond? Will you run for cover, or will you run towards danger (fear) knowing that you have the innate ability to overcome any obstruction that may come your way.
To be successful in any arena you cannot display courage every now and again, rather it is a part of you and shines through always. Successful people eat problems for breakfast, lunch and supper. They do it for fun. They look at every problem as a set of weights that will help them grow stronger.
Fear is your opportunity to awaken courage.
All of us have going through events in our lives that have convinced us that we are not too courageous. Some events have shown us that we have courage too. Courage sleeps quietly until it is awakened by an opportunity to confront fear head-on. Successful people seek fear and seek discomfort because it is an opportunity to awaken their courage. Ask anyone who has joined us in the ice.
Self-esteem and courage.
We fail in business, I have many times, we fail in school (I did that too) we were ‘pied’ when asking someone out on a date (too much love island), we overeat and see ourselves weak. However, true courage is having the courage to recognise your POTENTIAL. It’s when you discover your potential and your worth in life that you are free to confront anything that gets thrown your way. People are typically unaware that their potential is bound by fear.
Courage is the attitude of confronting danger and your biggest fears. Feeling the fear and doing it in the face of fear. Courage is not the absence of fear. To do something when you’re oblivious to the risks involved isn’t courage.
If you have fear, welcome to the human race, for the moment you care is the moment feel fear. And that’s ok, its natural. In fact, it’s necessary for success. With the majority of all businesses failing, it’s unnerving to start your own business. Growing old is scary and if you’re not scared, you might be on drugs or drunk and then you will still be afraid by default.
Courage is a response to fear. David was afraid, but eventually he stood up to Goliath. What helped him to display his courage? Whether David knew it or it just happened that way, he had a strategy.
By now, if you’ve read all of the above, you are already drawing comparisons to your CrossFit journey, personal relationships and even your working life. And if you walk into the box, you already face a fear with courage.
Check part 2 for a 4 part strategy for overcoming fear and showing courage.