I was sitting in a class one weekend, as a full-on adult, wanting to share something to add to the conversation, but something held me back. I stayed silent. So did the rest of the class.
What was interesting about this class was the instructor actually called the participants on it. He asked us, “Why is no one speaking up?” My answer was, “I had something to add to the conversation, but I was waiting for courage. “
Waiting for courage?
To be seen? To stand out? To trust my voice? To actually believe that what I had to say had value? I love the idea that if I waited long enough courage actually grows stronger…but I think it’s actually the opposite.
Brene Brown writes that, “Courage starts with showing up and letting our selves be seen.”
Which is really about being vulnerable. And that means courage may actually feel a bit like vulnerability. It feels like that flutter in your stomach. It actually feels a bit uncomfortable.
I guess I was waiting for courage to feel like a confident voice in my head that said, “Now! Now’s the time!” So much for that myth!
Like a lot of people, I struggle with feelings of not being enough. Whether it’s not being smart enough, fit enough, good-mom enough, friend enough the list keeps going. Even as I write this entry, I have worries that what I have to say isn’t interesting enough for anyone to read.
I’m tempted to just tuck this entry away and not post it. In fact, I’m tempted to stop writing all together. Who cares what I have to say? But really, this isn’t about my writing—it’s about owning my voice and my impact. It’s about trusting myself. It’s about being courageous.
And trusting myself is not going to feel like “Now’s the time!” Rather, it’s going to feel like that awkward flutter, and taking action anyway. And the game to play is to get used to the discomfort of courage.