20 Seconds of Pure Courage…

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Do you hate that question? I kinda do. I mean let’s face it, failure is inevitable. We all do it. None of us like it. Most of us are afraid of it.

And yet.

And yet, have you ever accomplished anything of significance, anything that really means something to you without some level of failure first?

Failure is a part of growth. As they say anything worth doing is worth doing badly…at first. When it’s important to us we will try and try again…and again and again and again. I’ve always loved the saying “fail fast” because once you’ve failed you know what doesn’t work and you can put it behind you and move forward, so you might as well do it quickly.

Often we look around us at others and it seems to us that things just come easily to them. But come on. No one puts their failures out there for the world to see. We share our successes. We share the things we want the world to see. All the while behind the scenes we are all trying to figure stuff out and trying to get our act together.

Do you ever wonder why we feel so compelled to keep our struggles and failures a secret? Or why we really don’t want to know about the struggles and failures of others? It makes us uncomfortable. It’s easier if we don’t have to deal with other people’s “stuff”. However, our struggles and how we deal with them define us in many ways.

When you struggle will you quit? Will you blame someone else? Will you become bitter?

I’ve often thought that when I get old (that’s right I said WHEN, I’m not old yet!) I don’t want to be one of those cranky, bitter old women. I want to be joyful and fun and adventurous. I want to be curious and I never want to stop learning. I want to love well and judge less. Honestly, I’ve got some work to do if I’m going to get there.

I’ve been listening to this podcast recently called “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” by Cathy Heller. While I’m not ready to give up my day job I have learned some interesting stuff.

My biggest take away so far is the idea that all you really need is 20 seconds of pure courage. That’s it. Twenty seconds.

It seems a little ridiculous when you first hear it doesn’t it? Seriously, what can you accomplish in 20 seconds?

Well, I’m glad you asked. Let me just tell you. With 20 seconds of pure courage I published my first blog. With another 20 seconds I posted my first video online. In 20 seconds I started an instagram account. Twenty seconds was all it took for me to decide I was buying some markers to try my hand at drawing. And another 20 seconds to post something I had drawn on Facebook and Instagram. Twenty more seconds to open an Etsy account and share my art with the world.

Mine you, the 20 seconds of courage wasn’t used on creating a video, drawing a picture, or setting up accounts. The 20 seconds became needed when it was time to hit the send, post or publish button.

Granted, people do these things all the time. They really aren’t any kind of big deal for a lot of people. But for me, putting myself out there was scary. I still have the voices in my head that ask me “who do you think you are?” or “why would anyone care what you have to say?” I still have the voices in my head that criticize me as they roll their eyes. (Do the critical voices in your head roll their eyes? Mine always do.)

I’ve let those voices stop me in my tracks far too often. In the past I’ve decided they were probably right and it would be better to stay in my comfort zone where I feel safe. But safe isn’t usually all that fun, joyful or adventurous. It stifles my curiosity and my love of learning.

But recently I’ve decided I have it in me to muster up 20 seconds of courage. So, when the inner critics start talking I think to myself “just 20 seconds”. It’s been life changing. It’s been fun and so far a great adventure. And I’ve failed and had to try again. But I will try again and I’ll muster up another 20 seconds of courage.

One of my drawings shows up on a google search. I know that’s not really a big deal but I still think it’s kind of cool. 😜

So instead of asking yourself what you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail, ask yourself what you could do with just 20 seconds of courage. It’s not all of the hard work that scares you. What scares you is the moment in time where you have to release your work, your idea, your question, your request and/or yourself to the world. But you can do it. It just takes 20 seconds of pure courage and you’ve got that inside of you so GO FOR IT! Fail fast and keep moving forward one small, courageous step at a time! Then let me know what you did with your first 20 seconds! I’d love to hear about it.

If I’ve challenged you, encouraged you, made you laugh or made you roll your eyes I’d be thrilled and honored if you’d share my blog on your social media.


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