When you’re trying something new there’s a secret ingredient that will propel you forward. I have a secret ingredient for my guacamole, but I’m not giving it to you here. The secret ingredient I’m talking about is something that most everyone has if they just dig down deeply inside of themselves. You have it, too. The secret ingredient that will propel you forward when you try something new is courage.
I saw courage take center stage as someone I know recently took the leap into something new. She gave up on her old job because the organization she worked for wasn’t giving her the due respect and honor she deserved after providing decades of her time and dedication. So she stepped down and decided to do something brand new. It happened to be a bit out of her comfort zone, but she knew it was the right decision.
Courage became part of the game when she was getting ready to proceed with her new gig. She was about to do her first presentation working for a new company. It had to do with instructing educators in a method of teaching called Differentiated Instruction. So she took the courageous step of asking a number of her friends to sit through and participate in her presentation.
The courage came in asking for honest feedback about her performance. She introduced her topic. Showed us what Differentiated Instruction is by involving us all in a lesson she taught. Then concluded by reviewing what we had learned. After she was finished we all had the opportunity to provide feedback and help shape and improve her presentation. She really put herself out there. We were honest in our assessment, shared things she could improve, applauded the things that went well, and suggested ways she could engage her audience in an even better way.
Those of us gathered at the presentation pooled our opinions and gave her feedback. The feedback we gave will most certainly help her draw people into her presentation, keep them interested, and encourage them to engage in her services. It took courage for her to take the risk and ask us to be open and honest in our feedback. We most certainly were.
Here’s a word of encouragement to muster the courage to leap into discomfort when you try something new. Don’t be afraid to practice. Don’t be afraid to do something in front of others and ask for feedback. Don’t be afraid to listen to the tough constructive criticism. Here’s what your courage will do for you:
- It will give you confidence. Practice may not make perfect, but it will certainly start you heading in that direction. It takes courage to practice right out there in front of other people.
- It will help you improve. No one ever got anywhere worth going without working hard on getting better. It takes courage to listen to difficult things about ourselves.
- It will put you ahead of the competition. When you work hard and listen better than the ones with whom you compete you will find yourself important steps ahead of them. It takes courage to know that you’ll have to work harder than others.
- It will take you places you never thought you’d go. When you take the courage to leap into the unknown you will find yourself in unexpected places, and that’s always an educational experience. It takes courage to take the path less trodden.
Courage is the secret ingredient that will give you confidence, help you improve, put you ahead, and take you to places yet unknown. What are you waiting for? Take the leap!
How have you seen courage bring improvement to your life?