“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go”. T.S. Eliot
It takes courage to speak up. Especially when you speak to people who matter to you. Or to those who seem to hold all the power.
It can be hard to voice your thoughts or needs when you see things differently than everyone else or when you fear what you say may fall on deaf ears.
Here’s my belief. You win more than you lose when you take a risk—and do or say what needs to be done or said.
If you need to marshal your courage, consider:
The price of “playing it safe”.
When you face a choice between silence and the higher risk/greater reward alternative of speaking up, do you imagine what might go wrong and let your fear stop you?
If so, you take a greater risk.
In your hesitation to travel outside your comfort zone, you forget the real risk lies in selling yourself short and letting problems fester. If you’ve chosen silence in the past, give thought to where it has led you. Six months from now, will you wish you’d trusted more in yourself?
Unlock the power of courage.
What happens when you fear risk? Fear erodes confidence. Hesitation amplifies worry. If you allow fear to establish residence in your brain, fear not only moves in, it owns you.
In my landmark book, Beating the Workplace Bully, I wrote, “Think what a brave person would do, and become that brave person.” In doing so, you grow your courage by thinking your way through risk.
What’s lost if you want to take a risk and don’t? You live your life regretting the risks you didn’t take, the times you didn’t stand up for yourself, and the words you should have spoken but swallowed. As Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
If you loved this post, you’ll find a longer, more detailed description for how to partner with courage in Navigating Conflict.
(c) 2023 Lynne Curry
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