Happy New Year here we are the start of 2021! It seems we are not out of the woods yet as far as the pandemic is concerned. Christmas may have been very different for many of us this year, probably not what we hoped for! Courage may be in short supply!
Have you ever noticed that rear-view mirrors in cars, are a lot smaller than the windscreen? Apart from the impracticality of them being the same size we do actually need to see more of what we are travelling towards, not be using the rear-view mirror to see what is coming up!
2021 does not need to be defined by what has gone before. 2020, whilst it was challenging, I am certain you learnt new things that you can now build on. At this point in the year, I want to encourage you. To help you decide to be courageous, to keep going and expect that despite evidence to the contrary there will be opportunities this year.
Courage is not about a lack of fear. It is more often about deciding to move forwards despite the fear. To decide to continue to put one foot in front of another. Courage requires us to look through the windscreen, acknowledge our reality and still press on to take hold of what we hope for.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Nelson Mandela
I am guessing that Nelson Mandela faced fear in many ways as he fought for freedom over many decades. Notice though that he decided that he would not be ruled by fear. Courage requires us to take action and that will look different for all of us. For those who face significant medical issues it might be the very act of getting up and getting dressed in the morning. For others it means making the decision to do what you can to show up and serve your customers despite the circumstances you are in.
As we turn up as the best version of ourselves in the midst of challenging circumstances, it says something to those we serve. For those who are leaders, this is not a time for timidity but time to have the confidence to take the next step. Hold true to your values and move forward with what you know. As you overcome the obstacles that no doubt will appear, you and those that follow will learn new ways of doing things that will build previously unknown strength and character into you all.
Courage is not about ignoring what is going on around you it is acknowledging the reality of it and still taking the next step that will inspire others to do the same. What does courage look like for you right now?
If you do lead people, they are looking to you for reassurance. Be real, life is challenging, but we know this too shall pass. You don’t need to have everything figured out; it would be foolish to suggest that you do. You can however dig in, move forward and innovate. Create and bring together the diverse talents and skills in the team to work out how you can position yourselves to continue being there for the clients you serve.
“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; it’s choosing what’s right over what’s fun, fast, or easy; and it’s practicing your values, not just professing them.” Brené Brown (Dare to Lead)
Courage comes from discomfort, embrace that and move forward anyway. Your courage will encourage (bring others into courage) with you. If your experience is anything like mine, you will surprise yourself with what you achieve.
Here is to your next step.