Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are scared. – Eddie Rickenbacker
What does that mean?
Think about it. At one point in time, you were probably a little scared of riding a bicycle, running fast, or even of being in an airplane. Some of you may still be somewhat concerned with some of those things even now.
But what about all the things you aren’t afraid to do? Does it take courage to tie your shoes? Does it take courage to eat a meal? Well, there are some restaurants where the cuisine might take more than a little courage to eat, but that’s not what I meant.
So the quote states that it takes courage to do the things that scare you, the things you are afraid to do. Being courageous means facing your fears and doing it despite the fear. The bad news is that eventually the fear will recede, and you’ll have to find something else to do to display courage, right?
Why is pushing yourself out of your comfort zone important?
We all have a comfort zone. Inside the comfort zone are all the things we know we can do, and can do fairly regularly. If you play a lot of baseball, catching a fly ball is probably inside your comfort zone. If you’ve mishandled, or even been injured by a line drive ball, they might not be inside your comfort zone.
If you stay within your comfort zone, you stay comfortable. Ok, that was obvious, and besides, who wants to be uncomfortable? Going outside your comfort zone is part of how we learn, how we expand ourselves and our horizons. Pretty much everything you do today was once outside your comfort zone.
Yes, perhaps you were eager to try a few of the things you now do casually, but not all of them. If you quit trying to expand your abilities, if you quit moving outside your comfort zone, well that would be pretty boring, wouldn’t it? But some people like it that way.
For those of us who do not, it’s time to take one step beyond comfort and confront our fears. Small steps take small amounts of courage, which most of us can manage. Bigger steps might be made more easily if you can find a coach, someone who’s been there and done that, to help you out.
Where can I apply this in my life?
I played a little baseball in my time, and the line drive was always outside my comfort zone. My hand-eye coordination wasn’t very good at that age, and getting the timing on when to close the glove rarely worked. Often times, I would have the glove in a less than ideal position, which would simply redirect the line drive up the length of my body, often ending up with the ball hitting my neck, chin, or face. Not fun.
Now that I’m older and (somewhat) wiser, I know how to handle line drives, although I still get bit by the occasional odd hop. But so do the pros, so I don’t feel too bad. These days, line drives and hopping ground balls are within my comfort zone, but only because I kept going after them until I managed to improve my technique until they were.
What is outside your comfort zone? What do you chose not to do because it’s scary? Either the act, or the potential consequences are of no small concern. Perhaps it’s sports, or a personal challenge (I’m still working on front and back flips). Perhaps it’s an emotional or social challenge.
As long as you let your fear beat you, you are a little short on courage. I have found that additional help can be the difference. A coach, or even an article with tips, hints, or ideas I might not have thought of on my own have made a big difference for me.
For the front and back flips, I recently went and got some help with gravity. I found a trampoline place, and used a bouncy launch to help me with the techniques. I’m still scared to death of over-rotation, so I’m still opening up far too soon, but I now have a much higher degree of confidence, and my comfort zone has increased.
Write down a few of the things you think you’d either like to do, or might help you in your career or personal life. Then consider which of them you think would be the most beneficial for you to accomplish. Write down what things you could do to help reduce the fear, and add a little to your confidence and courage.
If you were afraid of flying, a book about the exploits of World War I fighter pilots might not be the best reading material. Statistics on the relative safety of aircraft compared to autos or motorcycles might help, but would probably be a bit dry.
Perhaps if you asked your friends, you could find someone who enjoyed flying, and you can gain something from their beliefs and perspective that will help you have more courage when you consider booking a flight, or when you take your seat and buckle in.
We all have things that we are afraid to do. We can, with courage, and with encouragement, do these things. But once we start doing them, it takes less and less courage to do them, until our comfort zone expands to include them. And that is a good thing, right?
I urge you to make a commitment to take a step forward, to move outside your comfort zone. Work on one (or more) of the items you listed as outside your comfort zone, and start making progress. Yes, there will be times when things don’t go as planned. Learn from the experience, and get back at it.
If you do nothing, you will never grow. If you are afraid of doing, you will do nothing. If you do not have courage, you will always be afraid of doing. All this can be overcome by the simple action of taking a step.
From: Twitter, @whatkeepsmesane
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/eddiericke104722.html
Photo by Sugarmonster
Happy Birthday to Eddie Rickenbacker, America’s Ace of Aces in WWI, born 8 October, 1890