Building courage takes time just like building strength in a physical muscle it takes awareness, patience and practice.
*6 Steps to Taking Risks & Courageous Action*
Let’s chat about courageous action, taking risks and trying new things.
I am going on stage for the first time ever to do a stand up comedy performance. I am sharing my experience to encourage you to take creative risks.
My body is in a stress response and the night before, I felt certain that I was getting sick with a stomach ache and my head hurting. UGH!
My body and my brain were telling me. “this is a really bad idea. You are sick, you can’t do this!”
Taking risks is RISKY, EXCITING, SCARY, WONDERFUL & WORTH IT!
Your brain’s number one job is to keep you safe (which often means small).
You have to actively train your body and mind to handle the stress to take action anyway! With practice your body mind to be able to take creative risks or just to simply take risks in our lives and to explore outside of what we normally do and take action.
Your brain thinks taking risks is dangerous and life threatening, when really it’s just different than our normal habits.
We often get stuck in these habit loops of things that are comfortable, but it often keeps us stuck in our lives.
So, I am taking a huge creative risk.
Yes, I performed on stage and No, you don’t have to do stand up comedy in order to take risks and expand your comfort zone, the key is to find your edge and expand from there in your life.
Working to build your courageous muscles takes time, awareness, patience and practice.
STEP ONE: Notice what you feel and what meaning you are making about how you feel. What story are you telling yourself?
I could easily tell myself, ” I am scared. I am so scared. I am so scared.”
And if I only focus on feeling scared I would physically and mentally shut down.
I notice I am scared AND ALSO: I am excited too!
STEP TWO: What do you feel that you would like to feel more of? This is called reframing
I can feel the excitement and I’m also scared, but I don’t let the fear consume all my energy.
My brain that is freaking telling me: you’re gonna die if you do this! Which of course, I know that’s not true.
Yet there’s something in my physiology that is an overwhelming amount of energy.
STEP THREE: Create an empowering story about the future, a vision that is possible yet will likely be challenging to believe right now. This is called future casting.
I am out of my mind, I am really excited and scared, but I’m focusing on feeling excited. I’m focusing on feeling being present. I’m focusing on channeling all this energy and pouring out on to the audience.
STEP FOUR: Plan support after you take the risk or do the “thing.”
What kind of support do you need and want afterward? This step will minimize the vulnerability hang-over after expanding your comfort zone.
And from the many years that I’ve been doing speaking engagements and learning about performing, I know that I need support afterward.
STEP FIVE: Be prepared for the inner critic to show up!
I have a friend who’s coming to the performance tonight so we can spend time together afterwards because I know my inner critic is going to try to jump me in the parking lot and kick my ass.
I know how to regulate my nervous system after an extremely stressful event. So, I’ve created a plan for success so that I can feel supported afterwards and my friend can tell me nice things.
STEP SIX: Once your nervous system is regulated after the stress response >>> CELEBRATE YOURSELF. Focus on what you love and only pay attention to 1-2 things you would improve or change for next time.
When you want to create change in our life in any way, it’s create stress in our system yet we can learn to use the stress as fuel.
We can to learn to override our survival brain that says taking risks is a bad thing.
Remember: Be Courageous & Practice. Practice. Practice
Please share your practices and ask questions in the comments
Stay tuned, I’ll give you an update on how the set went.