I sit here writing this post while watching Olympic coverage. These athletes have caused me to ask the question: What does it mean to have guts?
I’ve thought about my best life moments, and how they all required me to get uncomfortable. To be unsure. To feel scared. To have guts.
Some of these examples make me feel incredibly vulnerable, but in the spirit of having guts, I’ll share:
It took courage to admit I got married to the wrong man when I was 26. Can you imagine if the shame of the mistake I made had kept me from living the life I was destined to live? Having guts then allowed me to experience the love I have with Nick now: a solid, supportive, romantic, and fun partnership.
Quitting a job one-week in was a brave move. Had I not followed my gut instinct that I was destined to do work for the greater good, I never would have found Flying Horse Farms, the camp for children with serious illnesses that changed my life for the better.
It was audacious to call camp’s CEO my first week on the job to tell her I wanted to scrap all the materials I inherited in order to take the start-up brand a new direction. It would delay our timeline. Her response, “I trust you,” has influenced the way I approach everything: Don’t ask permission, just do the work—you are the expert.
Becoming an athlete at age 33 took significant fortitude. I wasn’t a person who grew up excelling in sports, and I found myself falling in love with a brutal martial art called Muay Thai. Had I listened to my internal dialog (you’re not an athlete, you’re too old to start this sport, you’re slow), I never would have put on a pair of boxing gloves. Instead, I trained hard and got in the ring twice (2-0). I cracked a rib, broke some toes, and enjoyed every second of the training experience.
Leaving the security of a steady paycheck to start a business in an industry new to me (while pregnant with my first child) took serious grit. Had I listened to the doubters, I wouldn’t be writing you here today.
The bottom line?
My best life moments required me to dial up guts to work through doubt.
If you’re feeling scared to make a change you’ve been longing for in your personal or professional life, I offer you these pointers for living with GUTS over FEAR:
- Don’t seek anyone’s approval but your own.
- Refuse to fuse with worry. Instead, see it, acknowledge it, and push through it.
- Expect realistic outcomes.
- Surround yourself with people who believe in you.
You can do it—whatever it is. Conjure the guts. Enjoy the glory.
(Are you based in Columbus and interested in building up the guts to make a personal or professional transition? My next group coaching program starts on March 5th, and I have one spot left. Claim it by emailing me here. )
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