There’s a world of difference between fear and cowardice.
Fear is a painful emotion, anxiety or dread caused by the apprehension of impending danger.
Cowardice is the inability to control fear and so shrinking or running away from danger, lacking courage,.
Courage of course is the mental and moral strength enabling one to venture forth, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty firmly and resolutely.
I don’t have much fear anymore, and people who meet me now have a hard time imagining that I ever did.
But fear is actually the reason I now know how to teach others so well. I had so much of it, I really understand it.
My profession involves a tremendous amount of public speaking. I was terrified when I first started. I hated it. I couldn’t wear silk blouses because my sweat went all the way down to my waist and you can’t hide that in silk. I hated it.
Everything about running a business terrified me. I had to “sell” my programs and was terrified of doing sales. Every sales conversation was torture.
At the end of my first workshops, I was terrified about the feedback I would get.
I was also constantly terrified about money.
But I wasn’t a coward.
I gave talks in the beginning where I thought I was going to pass out from anxiety.
I confronted the feedback at the end of each talk and workshop, some of it horrific, some of it cruel, much of it painfully true.
I balanced my checkbook and figured out what to do when I only had $125 in the bank and $500 office rent was due. I never borrowed.
I dealt with it when people told me they weren’t interested in my programs in sales conversations.
I ignored the fear.
Yes, I was acutely aware of it, but I didn’t put any attention on it. I focused on my goal and stayed true.
Doing that for over 30 years made me a great teacher. I know how to help people through their fears. I understand their fears, I know how they feel. I know how to get them through.
It’s very common for people, when they’re working with me in my office, to say, “Wow! This is really a safe space!”
Yes, it is.
I know how to create one.
May you have the pleasure of finding and creating those safe spaces that enable you to conquer your fears and achieve your goals.