So, you want to be brave and change your life?
In Shad Helmstetter’s book, What to Say When You Talk to Your Self, he shares a model on how your life experiences shape your beliefs. Those beliefs, he says, are attached to attitudes that create a set of feelings that either inspire us to take action – or stop us in our tracks.
The example I like to use to illustrate this is a child who is going for a walk outside with her mother. Suddenly, when the mom sees a big dog, she hurries the child to the other side of the street so she doesn’t get bitten.
The child has an experience: moving away from the dog.
It creates a belief: dogs are scary.
And an attitude: I should get out of the way or I might get hurt.
From that experience, even as a grown adult, you may feel fear when you see a big dog and move away from it even though you’ve never been bitten by a dog.
This model is brilliant in so many ways, and it allows you to really think about why we do or don’t do things. It links your attitude to your feelings and it is your feelings who are the boss of you and your actions.
Be Brave: Sing Through The Fear
I was walking up to the stage, about to speak about money. How to make it, how to keep it, analyze it and understand it.
I know money brings up a lot of fears for people, so I wanted to find a way to illustrate this model. I needed to do something that scared me… and numbers don’t.
Thinking back to a time in my childhood, I remembered a time when I loved to sing. But I also had an experience that made me think I could not sing. That experience took hold of my life and for the last 40 years.
I have not sung in public in over four decades.
To demonstrate how to change the cycle of being stuck in your feelings, I decided to sing in front of 100 people on stage – without any music.
My body shook, my voice trembled and my eyes filled up with tears. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in public and when I finished, I received a standing ovation. I had just proven to the audience that you could be brave enough to act when you’re terrified.
But then, at the end of the day, someone asked me how I felt about what I had done.
That’s when I realized: I no longer felt afraid.
The next morning, I sang again. This time though, I did a pretty good job.
It wasn’t about the song, however. It was about the experience.It’s your experiences, not thoughts, that will change who you are. #BeBrave Click To Tweet
Be Brave: Take Action
You see, the experience of me singing the first time changed me. I went from thinking I cannot sing, to realizing, I can sing. I went from being afraid to be brave to then empowered.
You can do this too.
This is important – it’s really important. Your feelings lie to you. They tell you that you can’t do something, and the truth is you won’t do it because you’re afraid. When you choose to do the very thing that scares you, you change your beliefs, your attitudes, feelings and the next layer of action you’re willing to take.
Do something that scares you.
Your feelings lie to you. They tell you that you can’t do something, and the truth is you won’t do it because you’re afraid. When you choose to do the very thing that scares you - it will change your life. #Fear #Confidence Click To Tweet
Change the story you tell yourself about what you’re capable of. It’s exhilarating and powerful and never ever assume that because someone looks confident on the outside to you, that they don’t have their own fear they need to overcome.
Shaking in my boots I sang. I wasn’t great, but I was brave and being brave helped me then be great.
The moral of the story is this:
You must learn to move beyond our feelings and take action on things to build the muscle of overcoming our fear. When you stop letting your feelings hold you back, you can step into your potential and completely change your beliefs around who you are and all you are capable of.When you stop letting your feelings hold you back, you can step into your potential and completely change your beliefs around who you are and all you are capable of. Click To Tweet
So, you want to change your life? Get up and do something about it.
You can do it too.
Be Brave. Do It Afraid.
Tell me below – what is one fear you’re going to stare in the face and take action?
6 thoughts on “How To Change Your Life: Be Brave”
I was one of the hundred people in the room that day. I was so proud of you for having the courage to face your fears to the benefit of others. We could all picture ourselves in your shoes in that moment, and we all felt the emotion with you. It was brilliant that you decided to sing it again the next day, proving that once we face our fears in life and do it anyway, we’ll get better. Amazing demonstration of leadership and courage! Sing on Sister! Sing on!
Thank you Rich, I appreciate your kind words. I also appreciated the support of every person in the room.
I was a witness! It was remarkable the first time. It was transformative the second time!
Here are my lessons learned:
1. Lisa took action in the face of fear. She did not die. She lived to write the blog post!
2. The stories (a.k.a. excuses) we tell ourselves, for not taking action, are not real. We give these (stories) excuses strength every time we retell them! Stop reinforming your fears. Start telling the stories you crave.
3. I made a list of things that scare me (leaving a comment on a post, for example). There was not one item on that list that I couldn’t do. Metaphorically speaking, I, too, can sing in public.
4. The goal is to get past the first attempt, of the thing that scares you, and get to the second, and third, and fourth, etc., …attempt.
Thanks Ed, I love your summary! Thank you for being there and for your supportive words after I sang.
Great article Lisa. Fear is the primary problem of all people. if someone can do that but have fear in mind then he is incapable of completing that. But you have mentioned in the article how to overcome it. I am very happy now.
Thank you for reading, Reese!