Posts tagged with ‘courage’

25 feb

Go for It – The Power of Boldness

MikeRobbinsNewDo you consider yourself bold or someone who goes for it with passion in life? Some of us do, but most people I know and work with, myself included, admit that they don’t often think of themselves as a bold person. Or, if we’ve done or said bold things in our lives, they seem to be few and far between…and they also seem to scare us half to death. Hence, we often don’t find ourselves going for it in our work and our life – or not nearly as much as we’d like (especially these past few years).

Being bold, while scary and challenging for many of us, is essential if we’re going to live an authentic, successful, and fulfilling life. Boldness is about stepping up and stepping out onto our “edge” in life – pushing the limits of what we think is possible or appropriate. It’s about living, speaking, and acting in ways that are both courageous and true to who we really are.

Because we’re all unique, our individual versions of boldness will look quite different. Something that might be “bold” for me, may not be so for you – or vice versa. Going for it has to do with us getting in touch with our deepest truths, passions, and desires in life and then having the courage to live and act “out loud” in a way that is congruent with this.

Here are five key reminders of what it takes to be bold and go for it in life:

1) Be True to Yourself – Tell and live your truth with courage, vulnerability, and commitment. We must also remain in a constant inquiry with ourselves about who we are and what’s important to us. It’s okay and necessary in this process to admit when we’ve made a mistake, gone off course, or done something that’s out of integrity for with ourselves, as well as if we feel totally lost (which we will at times). Being true to who we are is about being ruthlessly honest and forgiving with ourselves (and with others) in a way that is both fierce and compassionate.

2) Live with Passion – Passion comes from within us, not from the external circumstances, events, activities, or people in our lives. Being bold is about going for it, not holding back, and giving ourselves fully to our work, our relationships, and our lives. To do this we must generate authentic passion, which is both a powerful emotion as well as a state of being as well.

3) Step Out – Challenge yourself to say and do things that are outside of your comfort zone and that scare you. This will force you to “step out” in your life and step in to who you really are. We often don’t think we’re “ready,” we sometimes don’t know exactly what we’re supposed to do, and we almost never have a guarantee that things will work out. So what! As Ray Bradbury famously said, “Jump, and build your wings on the way down.”

4) Lean on Others – Support, inspiration, and accountability from other people are essential along our journey of boldness and authenticity. We can’t do it all by ourselves and it’s imperative that we reach out to others who believe in us, will tell us the truth, and can help us when we get stuck. Create a “dream team” of powerful and supportive people around you with whom you can share your hopes, dreams, and ideas. And, be willing to ask for and receive their support, contribution, and generosity.

5) When You Fall Down, Get Back Up – It’s important to make peace with the fact that you will fall down, probably a lot, if you’re really going for it and playing big in life. How we respond to falling down is what truly makes the difference in our lives. When we make a commitment to ourselves to get back up, dust ourselves off, be real about how we feel and what happened, and not let it stop us from being who we are and going for what we want – we tap into what true power, boldness, and authenticity are all about!

Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info – www.Mike-Robbins.com

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Posted by Mike Robbins on February 25th, 2011 in Uncategorized | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , ,

04 dec

When You Fall Down, Get Back Up

MikeRobbinsNewHave you ever seen a small child learn how to walk? If you have, you know what a remarkable experience it is. I’d heard about this, but had never witnessed it first hand until Samantha, our (almost) five year old, took her first real steps when she was just over a year. She and I were playing in our family room one night and although she’d taken a step or two here and there, and could get around okay while holding onto an adult or a piece of furniture, she hadn’t really “walked” yet.

That night I was holding her hands and pulling her across the room with me, as she took some steps. I decided to let go to see what would happen. I did and she took a step or two and then fell down, face first, on the soft carpet. She was fine. She looked up at me and although she couldn’t speak, she made it very clear that she wanted me to pick her up so she could try again. I did and this time when I let go she took about four or five real steps and then fell down. I screamed, “You did it!”, started clapping wildly, and yelling for my wife Michelle to come into the room.

Michelle came running in. Samantha and I went to the far end of our family room. I held her hands to steady her, started walking with her across the floor, let go, and then it happened – she really walked – all the way across the room, by herself. When she fell down, Michelle and I were so elated and moved, we both burst into tears and joyous laughter at the same time. Samantha, so proud of herself, began to shriek with excitement and to clap her hands as she was lying there on the floor. And, of course, she wanted to get back up and go again.

We all know how to do this – fall down and get back up. Assuming we know how to walk, which most of us are fortunate enough to be able to do, we went through this specific and miraculous experience ourselves when we were very small. We’ve also gone through it in a figurative sense many other times as we move through the ups and downs of life. The question isn’t whether or not we’ll fall down; the question is will we be bold enough to get back up again? Too often, sadly, we fall down and then decide we can’t get back up. Boldness is about having the courage, willingness, and commitment to get back up when we fall down – even if we’re scared or don’t think we can.

Resisting, complaining about, or even feeling sorry for ourselves about the “bad” things that happen is totally normal and what we’re often encouraged to do by people around us and our culture in general – whether we do it out loud with others or just in our heads. However, these things, while understandable, don’t address the real issues, the emotions we’re experiencing, or make things better for us. Facing difficulties in our life can actually be an incredibly rewarding and positive experience for us – if we choose to allow our challenges to be opportunities for growth.

Below is a list of some things to appreciate when we “fall down” in life. Obstacles, failures, and challenges can:

- Give us important feedback about where and who we are

- Provide an opportunity for us to be courageous

- Allow us to wake up and notice all the good things that are happening that we hadn’t been paying attention to

- Give us a great opportunity for learning, growth, and improvement

- Allow us to learn to appreciate ourselves, even when things don’t turn out exactly as we want them to

- Give us an opportunity to get in touch with, take responsibility for, and express our real emotions in an authentic way

- Challenge us to play bigger, make adjustments, or re-think our approach

By learning to see our challenges as opportunities, we take our power back from the situations, circumstances, and outcomes of our lives. Our ability to appreciate difficulties, learn from them, and use them to our advantage, gives us an important insight into who we really are and how to create success and fulfillment in a conscious, deliberate, and authentic way.

Being bold, going for what we want, and living with authenticity doesn’t in any way mean we won’t fail, struggle, or fall short. In fact, if we aren’t failing or facing any challenges at all, it’s probably a good indication that we aren’t playing all that big in our lives. It’s important for us to make peace with the fact that we will fall down many times throughout our journey. However, when we make a commitment to ourselves to get back up, dust ourselves off, be real about how we feel and what happened, and not let it stop us from being who we are and going for what we want -we tap into what true power, boldness, and authenticity are all about.

As Mark Twain reminds us in one of his many famous quotes, “Dance like nobody’s watching; love like you’ve never been hurt. Sing like nobody’s listening; live like it’s heaven on earth.”

Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info – www.Mike-Robbins.com

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Posted by Mike Robbins on December 4th, 2010 in General, New Directions | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , ,

19 nov

Step Out of Your Box

MikeRobbinsNewOne of our greatest sources of authentic power in life comes from our willingness and ability to act – especially in the face of obstacles and fear. To be truly successful and fulfilled, we must challenge ourselves to take bold and courageous actions and to go for what we want. Legendary author Ray Bradbury said, “First you jump off the cliff and then you build your wings on the way down.”

In the summer of 1998 I was in the midst of a major life transition. I’d blown out my pitching arm a little over a year earlier and had gotten released by the Kansas City Royals that March. I was home in Oakland, CA collecting workers comp insurance (and not working), recovering from simultaneous elbow and shoulder surgery that I’d had at the start of that summer, reeling from what was sure to be the end of my dream of becoming a Major League baseball player (even after my arm rehab was completed), and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.

Throughout that spring and summer, I read numerous self help books that inspired me – both by what I learned from them personally and also by the idea of being able to write books like that and help people myself. I would wander into bookstores and find myself drawn to the personal development section – both to look for new books for me to read and also because I had a deep yearning to be involved in that world myself.

Given my age at the time, twenty-four, my lack of experience, and the fact that I had no idea how one would even begin a career as a self-help author and motivational speaker, I felt discouraged, scared, and confused. Being an author and a speaker one day seemed like a pipe-dream. And, in the weeks and months ahead I knew I’d need to make some important decisions about what to do and what specific steps to take as I ventured out into the “real world” for the very first time.

On July 11th, 1998 I had a conversation on the phone with my Uncle Steve that as I look back on it now, was a pivotal moment in the course of my life and my work. That day on the phone, I shared with him some of my deepest fears, dreams, confusion, and desires for my life and my future. I told him that I thought I wanted to be an author and speaker who could help and inspire people, but that I didn’t know how to do that, where to start, or what I could do in my life right away that would lead me in that direction.

Steve challenged me and said, “For you to do this Mike, you’re going to have to ’step out’ and be bold in your life. It’s not a one-time thing; it’s a day-by-day process. The question to ask yourself today and every day is, ‘What am I willing to do today to step out in life’?”

This question that Steve asked me, while simple to understand, challenged me to my core – both inspiring me and scaring me at the same time. I wasn’t sure how to answer that question at the time, but thought about it quite a bit.

I got a job that fall working for a dot-com, but my dream of writing, speaking, leading workshops, and coaching people stayed with me. Over those next few years, Steve would send me notes and post cards from time to time with just the words “Step Out” on them. It became a mantra for me.

Even though I knew the job I had selling internet advertising was not my “calling,” I chose to be grateful for what I was learning and the money I was making. At the same time I began to look outside of my current job for places where I could “step out” towards my deeper passion and dream of helping people. I did this in as many ways as I could – taking workshops, volunteering, reaching out to established authors, speakers, and coaches, talking to people about my goals and dreams, reading books, and much more.

When I got laid off from my dot-com in the middle of 2000 – Steve’s question reverberated within me deeply. I knew that the bold thing for me to do at that point, even though I still didn’t have a clue about how to go about it, was to “step out” of my “box,” take a huge leap, and do what I could to become a speaker, coach, and author.

It wasn’t easy and there were many times I wanted to quit – but I kept challenging myself to be bold and to go for it, even when I didn’t think I could. It took me six months from the time I got laid off to launch my speaking and coaching business, another two or three years before I was able to establish myself in any significant way, and seven years before I published my first book.

Stepping out of our own “box” is essential to living an authentic and fulfilled life. We often don’t think we’re “ready,” we may not know exactly what we’re supposed to do, and we almost never have a guarantee that things will work out.

Will we get scared? Of course. Will we fail? Most likely, especially at first. As the cliche says, “no risk, no reward.” When we’re willing to put ourselves at risk and go for what we truly want in a bold way, amazing things can happen.

Stepping out of our box in life doesn’t always involve something big like changing careers, moving to a new place, starting a business, ending a relationship, or traveling around the world (although it could). It simply means we’re willing to do, say, or act in a way that is new, different, and/or vulnerable. When we choose to push past our perceived limits and go for it in life – we always grow and learn, regardless of the outcome.

As you do this, make sure to get support, have compassion, and be gentle with yourself in the process. While it can be scary and often counter-intuitive – we’re here to grow, expand, and evolve and one of the most important things we can do in this regard to is to step out of our box in a conscious and bold way!

Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info – www.Mike-Robbins.com

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Mike Robbins on November 19th, 2010 in New Directions, Personal Stories | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , ,

14 nov

How to Move Through Your Fear

MikeRobbins96Fear is something that we all experience, especially on our journey toward deeper authenticity, fulfillment, and success in life. Being who we really are, expressing ourselves boldly, and going for what we want in life can cause a great deal of fear in us.

I get scared all the time – especially when I’m taking risks, doing new things, and putting myself out there. When I was younger I thought there was something really wrong with me because I would get so nervous – in sports, in school, in social settings, and more. I now understand that everyone else experiences their own version of the same basic fears I have (being judged, making mistakes, looking bad, failing, disappointing others, and more). It’s just part of being human.

Many of us run away or hide from our fears because they seem scary, uncomfortable, or embarrassing. We also erroneously think we “shouldn’t” have them or we’re somehow “wrong” for feeling scared. However, most things that mean a lot to us in life don’t show up without any fear at all. And as we strive to live with authenticity, it’s inevitable that we’ll get scared along the way.

The question isn’t whether or not we experience fear in our lives (because we all do and always will for as long as we live); the more important question for each of us to ask and answer is, how can I move through my fears in an honest way so they don’t stop me from being who I really am and going for what I truly want in life?

How to move through your fear in a positive way:

1) Admit it – Acknowledge your fear, tell the truth about it, and be real. When we feel scared and are willing to admit it with a sense of empathy and compassion for ourselves, it can often take the edge off and give us a little breathing room to begin with.

2) Own it – Take responsibility for your fear and own it as yours, not anyone else’s. We often have a tendency to blame others for doing or saying things that “scare” us. However, when we remember that no one else can “make” us scared – only we have that power – we take back the responsibility and the power of the fear and remember that it exists within us, so we are the only ones who can change it.

3) Feel it – Allow yourself to feel your fear, not just think about it or talk about it (something I often catch myself doing). Feel it in your body and allow yourself to go into the emotion of it, even if it is scary or uncomfortable. Like any emotion, when we feel our fear deeply and passionately, it has a way of dissipating.

4) Express it – Let it out. Speak, write, emote, move your body, yell, or do whatever you feel is necessary for you to do to express your fear. Similar to feeling any emotion with intensity, when we express emotions with intensity and passion, they move right through us. When we repress our emotions, they get stuck and can become debilitating and dangerous.

5) Let it go – This one is often easier said than done – for me and many people I work with. Letting go of our fear becomes much easier when we honestly admit, own, feel, and express it. Letting go of our fear is a conscious and deliberate choice, not a reactionary form of denial. Once you’ve allowed yourself the time to work through your fear, you can declare “I’m choosing to let go of my fear and use its energy in a positive way.”

6) Visualize the positive outcomes you desire – Think about, speak out loud, write down, or even close your eyes and visualize how you want things to be and, more important, how you want to feel. If your fear is focused on something specific like your work, a relationship, money, etc. – visualize it being how you want it to be and allow yourself to feel how to ultimately want to feel.

7) Take action – Be willing to take bold and courageous actions, even if you’re still feeling nervous. Your legs may shake, your voice might quiver, but that doesn”t have to stop you from saying what’s on your mind, taking a risk, making a request, trying something new, or being bold in a small or big way. Doing this is what builds confidence and allow us to move through our fear.

Fear can and does stop us in life – from being ourselves, speaking our truth, and going for what we really want. But, when we remember with compassion that there’s nothing wrong with us for getting scared and when we’re willing to lean into our fears with vulnerability and boldness – we can literally transform them into something that catapults our growth and fulfillment in life.

Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info – www.Mike-Robbins.com

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Mike Robbins on November 14th, 2010 in Uncategorized | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , ,

11 jun

Are You Willing to Be Uncomfortable?

MikeRobbins96

How comfortable are you with being uncomfortable? I know this may seem like a paradoxical question, but it’s not. In fact, Michelle and I took a workshop this past weekend where they emphasized the importance of being uncomfortable – related to expanding our growth, success, fulfillment, and more.

Over the past few days I’ve been taking some real inventory of my own life and looking at how willing (or unwilling) I am to be uncomfortable myself. I notice that in certain areas of my life, I’m quite willing to be uncomfortable; while in others, not so much.

There seems to be a direct relationship between my willingness to be uncomfortable and how much excitement, creativity, and abundance I experience in a particular area of my life (both now and in the past). In other words, the more willing I am to be uncomfortable, the more I find myself growing, accomplishing, and transforming. On the flip side, the less willing I am to be uncomfortable, the more stress, resignation, and suffering I experience.

Our egos are highly trained at keeping us “safe” and making sure we avoid any and all “risks.” However, it’s difficult (if not impossible) for us to take our lives, our work, and our relationships to where we truly want them to be if we’re not willing to be uncomfortable in the process.

Being uncomfortable doesn’t necessarily mean that things have to be overly painful, dramatic, or challenging (although sometimes they will). When we’re uncomfortable it’s usually because we’re doing or saying something new, we have something important at stake, or we’re taking an essential risk. These are all beautiful and critical aspects of life and growth. Think of the most important areas of your life, your work, and your relationships – I bet there were and still are elements of these important things that are uncomfortable for you.

When we’re willing to be uncomfortable, we lean into our fear, try new things, and go for it in a bold and authentic way. It doesn’t mean we know exactly what we’re doing (in many cases we won’t). It also doesn’t mean we won’t fail (which, of course, we will at times).

We all have the capacity to be uncomfortable – we’ve been doing it our entire life (learning to walk, talk, ride a bike, drive a car, do our work, and so much more). However, instead of trying to “survive” the uncomfortable aspects of life – what if we embraced them, acknowledged ourselves for our willingness, and even sought out new, unique, and growth-inducing ways to make ourselves uncomfortable consciously?

Here are a few things you can think about and do to enhance your own willingness to be uncomfortable.

1) Take inventory of your life. Where are you willing to be uncomfortable and where are you not? The more honest you can be with yourself about your own willingness (or lack thereof), the more able you’ll be to make some important adjustments and changes. Be authentic and compassionate with yourself as you make this inquiry.

2) Identify your fears. There is always a specific fear (or a set of fears) that exists underneath all of our resistance. When we’re not willing to be uncomfortable, it’s usually because we’re scared. If we can admit, own, and express our fears in an honest and vulnerable way, we can liberate ourselves from their negative grip.

3) Create support and accountability around you. The best way I know of to challenge ourselves and step out of our comfort zone, is to elicit the support of others and make sure we get them to hold us accountable. There may be important things for you to do – that you know will take your life, work, and relationships to the next level – but they seem intimidating (i.e. uncomfortable). Getting people you trust and respect to help you, coach you, and push you is one of the best ways to make it happen – even and especially if you’re not sure how, or worried you can’t do it.

Being uncomfortable is, well, uncomfortable. But, it’s one of the most important things for us to embrace if we want to live a life of real meaning, purpose, and passion.

Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info – www.Mike-Robbins.com

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Mike Robbins on June 11th, 2010 in General, New Directions | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , ,