9-forwardWhere did the time go? The year has almost gone and the holiday season is rapidly upon us. This has been quite a year for me and I am so grateful for the many lessons I’ve learned, the people I’ve met, the travels I’ve had and the new directions I’ve taken. I wish that I could tell you that it’s been one smooth ride because it hasn’t been. But still I wouldn’t take anything for this journey.

One very important lesson I’ve learned more about this year is “Courage.” When I looked up the definition of “Courage” here’s what I found, “the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous.” If I were to define the word courage it would be, “the ability to do something you are afraid to do even when you know deep inside it’s the thing to do.”

How many times have you felt a deep abiding knowing on the inside of you that was pulling you towards something that was meant for you to do? Yet, you also felt afraid, skeptical, judgmental and sometimes angry. I’ve learned over the years, that these emotions surface when we are faced with the truth of who we are and what’s possible for us.  Because these are your trigger points. The emotions surface to keep you where you are because it’s safe. But when did remaining safe and comfortable get you to the next level?

Everything that you desire lies outside of the realm of what you already know. So, if you want more money, more love, more success, you’ll have to start doing some new things in order to achieve it. Because if you keep doing what you’re already doing, you’ll get the exact same results as you are now.

So what this requires from you in order to achieve something radically new is a willingness to try new things, to step our of your comfort zone, and to be okay not knowing how things are going to turn out. Because that’s literally the ONLY way to take you to the next level.

So ultimately, your path to a more successful life comes from being willing to push beyond your fears, try new things and step into a new space. Courage!

But here’s where you get stuck.  When you decide to make that next step, all sorts of emotions will begin to surface. Excuses that appear justifiable will be the first to show up. Excuses such as, “I don’t have the time or the money.” “I’ve got young kids at home or I’ve got to pay for my son’s college tuition.”  While all of these reasons appear logical and even justifiable, they are nothing less than excuses designed to make you feel better about remaining in the same place. Then there are the sneaky excuses we tell ourselves such as, “They just want to get my money, it’s always about money.” “Who does she think she is to charge that much, I can do this myself.” “That coaching stuff is a scam and I don’t do scams.” You get angry, judgmental, or skeptical.

I know all so well how this can happen because it has happened to me. I remember being offered an opportunity that was simply too good to be true. The opportunity would have taken my career to it’s height had I taken the deal. I would have instantly became a multi-millionaire because the salary was just that. I would have lived bi-coastal and my name would have been household. My fear and lack of courage found all sorts of reasons why I didn’t need to take the position. I even made it sound spiritual by saying “It’ wasn’t God’s desire for me.” I began to judge the people who made me the offer. I even became angry with them and left them in the meeting at the Empire State Building. I went back to my hotel room, packed, called a car service to take me back to the airport and I flew back home to SC. Never to have that discussion with them again.

I panicked. It was frightening and I was scared. “Who was I to play at that level?,” were my true feelings. In that moment, however, I didn’t know these were my  feelings and insecurities. I missed a huge opportunity. Many people tell me that it was suppose to be this way. I don’t believe it. I do believe that in spite of our mistakes that we can turn things around and recover. I believe that new opportunities will come.  But on that day in 1999, I blew it and miss a grand opportunity. I don’t have regrets, but I have learned from that mistake because that deal was real!

I’ve learned to never allow my fears to justify why I don’t take the leap. I learned to be courageous in the face of my fears. I’ve learned to stand fearless in the face of my uneasiness, my nervousness, my discomfort because it’s an indication that I’m moving in the right direction onto my next level.

I’ve signed up for coaching programs that appeared to be too expensive. But they resonated with what I knew I needed. I’ve attended events that I knew was not in my budget, but I did it anyway and doubled my income. I’ve take on business projects that I had little knowledge about because I knew it was an opportunity to up level my skill sets. One of my biggest lessons was in 2002, when I stepped out and took another risk on LOVE because deep within my soul was calling for this man and his for me. Together we have an incredible love story that we live each day.

Fast forward to 2014, I am still dealing with the word Courage. Because I’m moving into another uncomfortable space as I expand my company and launch a new one. Stepping into a new space with new fears and uncertainties. But I am fearless because I know deep within it’s the direction I must take. Courage must become our new friend if we are going to be successful in life.

One thing that successful people do that unsuccessful people don’t, is they take action quickly. They make a decision and follow through with an action step immediately to anchor that decision. It’s a philosophy that I’ve lived my life and ran my companies. It’s called “Courage.”

 The question for you today, “What key action will you take as a result of reading this?” Go ahead, take the leap and grow your wings on the way up!