What does it mean to be courageous when we’re older?
March 4th, 2013 - By Sue Plumtree
There’s a general belief that being courageous is the absence of fear. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In my younger days, I used to allow fear to hold me back. Since then I worked with a life coach who helped me transform my life.
Not long ago I wrote a blog called ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway – really?’ I went on to share the two biggest examples of ‘going for it’ in my life: leaving my marriage of 37 years and leaving my well paid job at the Institute of Directors.
In both cases I struggled and resisted for a very long time – years in case of my marriage! But the time came when I was ready to take the steps that changed everything for me. By then I had crossed over into my sixties.
I finally reached a place where I experienced total clarity and certainty, and I was able to do what the mere thought of doing had terrified me for so long. I had reached the point where the pain of staying was worse than the fear of the unknown.
But I don’t always need to wait until the fear has left me and I’m armed with courage and determination. For one thing, I have learned that fear never leaves – at least not until I do the thing I’m so fearful of doing. Which is why this saying is so profound: ‘There’s nothing to fear but fear itself’.
There are occasions when it’s necessary for me to push beyond my comfort zones with fear still tugging at me and the Gremlin whispering dire warnings to stop me from moving forward.
I sometimes think of myself as Jonah, from the story in the Bible where he ran away from God’s Will only to be brought back kicking and screaming – metaphorically speaking. I sometimes compare myself with him. I have countless examples where ran away from listening to my heart.
The latest example was admitting to myself that I am an expert in transforming lives having repeatedly told myself and everybody else that “I am NOT an expert!” A few years earlier I had developed an outline of what would become my new and powerful model ‘The 10 Life Enhancing Principles’ but then left it to languish in my files for almost two years. One day I attended a workshop ran by my dear friend Dinah Liversidge. As usual, she was absolutely brilliant – which is why I couldn’t understand why I felt overcome with the deepest sadness. It took me a couple of days to realise: she had accepted her gifts and was soaring like an eagle – and I wasn’t. I was playing small.
It took a lot of courage for me to dig out my work, polish it and put it ‘out there’. But I also noticed that, when the time is right, my courage takes over and then nothing can stop me.
Today, at the ripe old age of 68 I keep moving forward – learning, growing, experimenting, creating. I finally know I matter, I finally know I make a difference, add value. This is the happiest time of my life.
Are you experiencing joy and fulfilment in your own life? If not, would you like to know how to create a rich and rewarding life? If you do, please contact me to arrange a free consultation:
The Life Enhancing Coach
Author of ‘Dancing with the Mask: learning to love and be loved’
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