On paper, your goals seem like a must. You want that successful business, you want to inspire others, you want to get on stage and wow the audience or you might even want to write a New York Times Best Selling Book.
Most of us do none of this. We set our goals like the ones mentioned and then consistently fall short.
Then there are the outliers who do achieve these audacious goals.
An example of an outlier I learned last week was a lady named Michaela Alexis. Like me, she’s crippled with a fear of public speaking. What inspired me was that recently she spoke in front of thousands of people.
The last time she tried this, she failed badly and forgot what she was going to say. The speech she gave was mostly a wash of F ups and an overwhelming sense of fear.
As Michaela faced the stage again, with Gary Vaynerchuk speaking after her, she was crippled by her fear. Despite her fear she went out on the stage and gave her talk to thousands of people.
She even filmed how nervous she was before the event. You can tell that as easy as she made it look, the behind the scenes showed the truth: she was scared out of her mind and full of fear.
On the day of her talk, she nearly stayed in bed and didn’t achieve her primary goal of becoming great at public speaking.
The choice is ours.
“We can either stay in bed where it’s comfortable, warm and there are no critics to judge us, or we can face the world and push beyond our limits”
Each of us has this same choice and most of us make the wrong one or we tell ourselves “I’ll start tomorrow.”
Tomorrow never comes. We keep dreaming about our goals but we rarely try to execute on them. Now I’m not saying we always hide from these big scary goals, but what I’ve experienced is we don’t execute on our goals enough.
Doing something like public speaking once a year or twice a year won’t crank up the dial enough on your results.
Michaela has shown that the fastest way to achieve our big goals is to be relentless. She’s done that by going on stage several times in a short-period.
Most of all, it takes courage.
“You stay in your warm bed and never execute because you lack courage”
We’re not born with courage though. We develop it.
Courage is a muscle that must be exercised every week. Doing the reps any less than a weekly commitment will see your vision, and ultimately your goals, become too far into the distance. To stay on the right track, you’ve got to gain leverage on yourself.
What I’ve learned is that courage is really nothing more than doing the small tasks that form part of your goals. In other words, courage is taking action without being attached to the result.
The moment you focus too hard on the result you’re trying to achieve, you get lost in your own thoughts. Gaining leverage on yourself and having courage starts with scheduling tasks in your calendar. Once something is locked in your calendar, you gain leverage on yourself.
None of us want to let others down and by putting things in your calendar, you make time for being courageous. The good news is you can always retreat to your bed if on the day of taking action you can’t proceed.
What I’ve found though is that you won’t. Once it’s locked in, there’s a very good chance you’re going to execute. Having things in your diary helps to activate your auto-pilot mode. The moment you can use autopilot mode when you require courage is when your circumstances start to change.
Rising up to the challenge.
After moments of courage, the progress you see towards your goals will make it all worth it. Seeing Michaela Alexis witness this firsthand, and sharing it on LinkedIn after her speech last week, made that very idea sink in.
The difference between staying in bed – your metaphorical comfort zone – and crushing your goals is rising up to the challenge in front of you. It’s looking the audience in the eye and telling them you got this. You were born to do this!
All of us get to face these challenges and many of us opt out. Rising up is about finding the hidden courage within yourself to take action when logically it doesn’t make sense.
It’s about using the nerves you’re feeling towards your advantage. It’s about taking your adversities and turning them into weapons of mass destruction.
Seeing Michaela Alexis look physically sick, nervous, fearful and like she was about to die taught me so much. It’s not often that we get to lift the cover on someone like her who has so much influence, to see what actual courage looks like. The behind the scenes look at all the people you admire will show several similarities to Michaela.
Everything looks easy on video and what you don’t see is the courage that success takes. Each of us is burdened with our own flavor of challenges and overcoming them using courage is how we rise up, get what we want, and cross off those goals that give meaning to our lives.
Purpose, vision, entrepreneurship, personal development and anything else you can think of means nothing unless you have the courage to execute.
You can hide in the comfort of your bed or get out there and dance in front of dragons while the tree’s around you burn bright, and your mind is silenced from all the overthinking.
The choice is yours.
Will you choose courage or comfort?