When Courage Isn’t Enough…


In this day and age of women stepping into confidence and leadership, I ask, “How is that going for you?” Have you “put on your big girl panties,” “mustered up the gumption,” and “leaned in” only to be disappointed by the response in others and the results? Does frustration follow?

The definition of Courage: Feel the fear and do it anyways.

The definition of Boldness: Focused action without the burden of fear.

In today’s society, imperfect action (having courage) is better than no action at all (wimping out)…I BEG TO DIFFER.

A client of mine had the opportunity to pitch her business to over 100 investors. She walked up to the microphone, looked at the audience, had an out of body experience, froze, and understandably blocked out the rest from her memory banks. This clearly was an act of “feel the fear and do it anyways” GONE TERRIBLY WRONG.

60 to 90 percent of communication is nonverbal. This same client could have walked up to the microphone, said all of the right things in the right way, tried not to look at the audience, stayed in her body, did her best to stop quivering, and afterwards spend the rest of the evening giving cold clammy handshakes with a sweat stained shirt that she did her best to hide.

This still would have been an act of “feel the fear and do it anyways” gone terribly wrong. The question becomes, “When it’s time to step out of your comfort zone, how do you step into boldness and action without the burden of fear?”

In my world, I break down speaking into three categories.

  1. The Outer Game: What to say and how to say it.
  1. The Inner Game: How well you manage yourself in the heat of the moment.
  1. Subliminal Messaging: Your subconscious thoughts that leak out as unseen energy. Perhaps expressed in your body movements or tone of voice that you yourself are unaware of.

When all three of these are in alignment, you will make a high level of impact. You are acting from a state of boldness. If you have any misalignment…your message is left to the interpretation of the listener.

Basically, your level of nerves, body language and tone of voice speak louder than words.

In this world of “fake it till you make it”, “power through it”, “feel the fear and do it anyway” mentalities, I challenge you to think twice.

Take Pause!

Find alignment with the Outer Game the Inner Game and your Subliminal Messaging. Be proactive about the full impact you are creating. Step into boldness. Make the impact you know you are capable of.

Let’s return to my client’s story. Rallying after that horrifying event took more than twice the amount of energy to overcome than if she had prepared her Outer Game, Inner Game & Subliminal Messaging to begin with.

But the good news is that not only did she rally, but she has had 100% conversion rate with investors since. She advanced into a leadership role 1 full year ahead of schedule. But what really brought a smile to her face? Her peers have noticed and have commended her for a job well done!

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