Courage Is Being Scared To Death
But Saddling Up Anyways

Self-Awareness 101 Episode 12: Courage Is Being Scared To Death, But Saddling Up Anyways

Willard discusses how it is easy for us to remember what it takes to overcome major obstacles. And explores how we sometimes forget how much courage it takes to overcome the "littleā€ things.

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Today, we're going to explore a quote by John Wayne. "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyways."

I believe that one of the greatest gifts that come from shooting these episodes, is the conversations that I have with my producer Jerry while we're creating them.

In between takes, we were talking about the definition of courage, and how it seems that for most of us, myself included, think of the grand acts of overcoming fear. You know the "heroic stuff", the big fears. In reality, often times those are actually the easy ones to overcome. When the "big fears" come up, you often don't have time to think about them, you simply respond.

Jerry suggested that I talk about something that many of us overlook, which are the smaller fears that we face. Let me give a little back story here first. I think one of the challenges; one of the reasons that we put so much value on the big things that people overcome is because when people think about the word "courage" we instantly come up with images of people in the military, the police, firefighters or others who put themselves at risk, big risk to do their jobs. And we imagine that we could "never do that". And I don't want to take away from what that those people are doing. And, I believe that to give credit where credit is due, we need to remember that courage is about facing fear. And we also need to remember that fear can be paralyzing no matter how big the issue.

Fear, broken down as an analogy that many people use, or an acronym that people use is, "False Evidence Appearing Real". Have you ever noticed that we can build a situation up into so much more than what it really is, then, when we actually face it, and we get to the other side, we find that the "false evidence" was no where near as bad as what we were expecting and then say to ourselves, "Eh, that was no big deal."

As Jerry and I were talking about it, he was asking me, "What's a smaller thing that you had to overcome, that you needed to summon courage for?"

And I have to tell you, I had a really, really hard time coming up with some small thing to share. And I believe that is because I've conditioned myself over time, that these things I have overcome, these fears that I faced, are no big deal. That really made me become aware of how I was negating the courage it took to overcome those fears and limiting myself from resources that I could use in the future.

Now the big fears, I can sit here and tell you about one after another. We've made those so significant in our lives that they stand out. Yet, how many times do those kinds of situations happen? Which resources should you give yourself more access to?

As Jerry and I spoke more I realized that this really is something that we all need to focus on. It's the little things that stop us, so often from living the life we desire.

One of the fears that I did come up with as we were talking about this example, was that I spent a couple of years developing a software with a business partner. We put a lot of money, a lot of time and a lot of effort into it. And the fear I'm dealing with is on pulling the plug on the software because there were some glitches that came out with the release of Vista. For those of you who are PC users, many of you are aware how the release of Vista affected a lot of software. We've been doing our best to keep the software project going, but the cost and time to reprogram everything is way beyond what we are willing or able to invest at the moment. The fear that I'm facing, is the fear of failing, or more accurately the fear of letting go of something that could have succeeded if I just held on. Because of all the money we've put into it and all the time that we've put into it and all the energy we've invested in it, I am having a really hard time letting go. And the thing that I simply need to do is make a decision. I have to ask myself, "Is this serving us? Is it costing us money? Is it going to work? Is it going to go somewhere?"

The fear is also about letting down my partner. It's summoning the courage to be able to say the past four years, there were two years in development and two years that we've been struggling with the Vista issue, were not a total loss. It's about looking at what I have learned in that time, and where I am now having worked on that project. It's about recognizing the gifts that have come along the way, and the freedom of moving forward. But there is a fear based on the fact that my partner trusted in me and made a very significant financial investment and how that will affect the friendship if we shut down the project.

Overcoming the fear is about coming to the place where I can say, "Its okay for me to let those four years go." Overcoming the fear is about recognizing that my friendship with this person is more valuable than the money we have each invested in the business.

Courage can be something as simple as picking up the phone to make a call to a client, or a relative, or maybe just someone you haven't spoken to for a really, really long time because you're scared of how they are going to react.

We can be scared to death of the simplest thing, and as John Wayne said, courage is simply a matter of "saddling up and doing it anyways."

I think that the biggest thing that we really need to focus on is patting ourselves on the back when we face those smaller fears. Taking the credit for doing it. Celebrating when we do take the steps to overcome that fear. Because you know, it does take courage to make that call, to make that decision.

You don't have to be running into a burning building to be courageous. God Bless those that have that kind of courage.

When we take fears and blow them so out of proportion, where they paralyze us there is a level of courage needed to push past that fear also. And we finally make that decision to step up and do what we need to do and overcome it; I think we really need to give ourselves credit for our own courage.

As I said before, I am just as guilty of making these experiences insignificant. When Jerry asked me about the smaller things that I've overcome and I have shrugged off , so many of those smaller things saying it was no big deal, but they were at the time... phone calls that I was scared to death to make , whether it was legal phone calls, taxes , child support, sales calls; You have.. and I have... we've stepped up and we have done them. I think we really need to reaffirm that for ourselves, confirm that we do saddle up and we do succeed, and acknowledge ourselves for the courage that it did take.

When we do that, it really will make saddling up the next time a little easier. So I'm taking a lot from this episode and learning a lot for myself. It makes me grateful for the partnership I have with Jerry and our doing these videos.

I want to ask you to take a moment right now and think about, not the big ones... the big ones are easy to remember. Think of some of the less significant experiences of your life, where you really had to summon courage. Then write them down. Remember to take pride in the fact that you overcame those fears. Give yourself the credit you deserve. Journal about it.

Use your journal to look at it from and "observer's" perception to see that you really pulled together some great resources that you didn't have before; and keep those resources in your tool kit, knowing they'll help you out the next time.

I look forward to having you join us again soon.

Take Care. 

Continue our Free Self Awareness 101 Video Series and learn about your Belief Systems. 

< EP 11: The Four Agreements                     EP 13: Power of Belief Systems >

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Self-Awareness 101 Series with Transcription Plus

Introduction To Self-Awareness 101:  To Inspire, Educate and Empower
SA 101 Episode 1:  The Importance of Developing Self-Awareness 
SA 101 Episode 2:  How to Truly Learn from Mistakes
SA 101 Episode 3:  To Soar, I Needed To Let Go Of The Past
SA 101 Episode 4:  The Meaning That We Give Things
SA 101 Episode 5:  Kind Words And Good Deeds Are Eternal
SA 101 Episode 6:  Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone
SA 101 Episode 7:  Two Most Powerful Words You'll Ever Say
SA 101 Episode 8:  Making Time For What's Truly Important
SA 101 Episode 9:  Expectations and Desires About How It Ought To Be
SA 101 Episode 10:  Tap Into The Sources Of The Universe
SA 101 Episode 11:  The Four Agreements
SA 101 Episode 12:  Courage-Being Scared But Saddling Up Anyways
SA 101 Episode 13:  The Power Of Belief Systems
SA 101 Episode 14:  Change Is Inevitable, Growth Is Optional
SA 101 Episode 15:  Establishing Personal Boundaries; It's OK To Say No
SA 101 Episode 16:  Encountering External Resistance To Change
SA 101 Episode 17:  Creating A Supportive Environment
SA 101 Episode 18:  Our Decisions Determine Who We Become
SA 101 Episode 19:  Personal Development Tests
SA 101 Episode 20:  A List Of Excuses Vs. Results
SA 101 Episode 21:  The Meaning Of Honesty
SA 101 Episode 22:  Living In Gratitude
SA 101 Episode 23:  Repetitive Patterns
SA 101 Episode 24:  Non-Verbal Cues
SA 101 Episode 25:  Be Brave Enough To Accept The Help Of Others
SA 101 Episode 26:  Positive Thoughts And Positive Intentions
SA 101 Episode 27:  Active Listening Skills
SA 101 Episode 28:  How Self-Awareness Relates To Spirituality
SA 101 Episode 29:  Positive Affirmations 
SA 101 Episode 30:  Basic Meditation Exercises
SA 101 Episode 31:  Personal Development At Work
SA 101 Episode 32:  Toxic Shame
SA 101 Episode 33:  Eliminating Clutter
SA 101 Episode 34:  How To Forgive Others
SA 101 Episode 35:  Self-Forgiveness
SA 101 Episode 36:  Deepening Self-Awareness 
SA 101 Episode 37:  What Is Fear?
SA 101 Episode 38:  How To Overcome Fear
SA 101 Episode 39:  Dealing With Your Anger
SA 101 Episode 40:  How To Find Your Passion
SA 101 Episode 41:  Increasing Your Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 42:  How To Feel Deserving
SA 101 Episode 43:  How To Be A Humble Observer
SA 101 Episode 44:  Progress Not Perfection
SA 101 Episode 45:  Expectations And Perfectionism
SA 101 Episode 46:  Dealing With Anger
SA 101 Episode 47:  Taking Responsibility For Yourself
SA 101 Episode 48:  Achieving Higher Consciousness
SA 101 Episode 49:  Trust Life
SA 101 Episode 50:  Being Skeptical
SA 101 Episode 51:  Benefits Of Closure
SA 101 Episode 52:  The Final Episode 

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