A common topic of discussion with the law firm owners and industry leaders I speak with is fear.
Everyone experiences fear, regardless of how successful they are. Tom Brady gets nervous before big games, and even Beyonce gets nervous before she performs.
This really got me thinking about the interplay between fear and courage, because sometimes people believe that courage is just doing something and being entirely confident about it — a complete absence of fear.
That’s just not true. It’s actually the exact opposite.
Courage is the ability to do something that frightens you. In fact, I don’t think that you can have courage without fear.
Anytime I think of fear in my own life, I remember a pivotal moment years ago when we were starting our referral program at Crisp. We saw others would give away iPads, Amazon gift cards, and other typical prizes, but we wanted to go bigger.
That’s when I decided we were going to give away a Tesla Model S to the client that gave us the most referrals.
Let me tell you, it was terrifying.
The car had a hefty $77,000 price tag — which was slightly more than I had in my entire savings account at the time. To take a leap of faith like this required a tremendous amount of courage.
Ultimately, the program was really successful, and was a turning point at the company that led us to making bigger and bigger decisions to propel us even further.
Now, we’ve given away nine cars total, including a Rolls-Royce this year, but it wasn’t an easy decision by any means to buy that first Tesla. It took every ounce of courage I had to believe that it was the right decision for Crisp.
All this is to say that if you want to be courageous, you have to start somewhere. Until we had given away one car, we could never even imagine giving away eight more.
That one decision became a building block for my courage, and I believe that you can train yourself to be more courageous by confronting things that scare you and by getting comfortable being uncomfortable.
Sure, it’s normal to be fearful when faced with challenges and having to figure out how to overcome them, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing it.
I think that’s the biggest difference. If you have courage, that’s something that you can build and build and build, almost like a muscle.
Rather than running from fear when you hit a roadblock — whether it’s fatigue or a plateau or whatever it might be — you press onward. That then allows you to tap into a new level of energy, almost like a second wind, and that now empowers you to place even bigger bets.
To sum it up, everyone experiences fear.
Once you realize it’s a normal part of venturing into the unknown, doing something that is worthwhile, and doing something that can make a great impact, that’s where you’ll find your courage.