Fear is experienced by each of us – but if we desire freedom, we need to have the courage to be brave. We’re always telling our children to face their fears – yet as adults we have such deep seated fears. And so many times they stand between us and the freedom we so deeply desire. To get through those fears, we need courage. Here, we discuss a definition of courage that will help you move to BRAVE.
- The huge fears I faced starting Working Women’s Weatlh
- The key equation I came up with – Fear + Courage = Brave
- Three definitions of Courage out there
- The definition of Courage – Courage chooses to act, despite fear
- I share my learnings from others on how they’ve become free through the courage to act, despite fear
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Speaker 1: 00:00 Welcome to Working`Women’s Wealth where we discuss what it takes to build real wealth in a way normal humans can understand. Here’s your host, Lisa Linfield.
Lisa Linfield: 00:10 Hello, everybody, and welcome to this episode of Working Women’s Wealth. I’m starting a series in my blog post on how I started my business. You know, it’s a story that many people asked me about given that I’m about 18 months into this process. And it’s a story that I can’t understand why anybody would want to share. It’s just me, I’m a little person, I’ve started two businesses and I’m definitely by no means on the other side of success. In my won business, I’ve just reached my first goal of making more money than my [inaudible 00:00:56] lady. So I kind of look at these things and think to myself, ” But surely people only want to hear the story of those who are a huge success.”
And whilst in Lala Land, my two businesses will be a huge success, and then I might understand why people want to hear my story, it’s something that I’ve committed to start journaling. So that those of you out there who are starting or wanting to start a second stream of income, maybe not your own business, but a second stream of income might be encouraged by the learnings that I’ve had. The title of the series is ‘Brave to Be Free’ and it’s a series I’ll probably write from now until I die. But I think it really embodies the key concept that for me is huge in this whole arena. And it comes from a plaque, a little wooden plaque that an amazing lady gave me for my birthday one April.
And the plaque says, “She who is brave is free.” And it was the April just before I stepped full time into investing in my business. I worked for a year half day as I transitioned from a full time corporate employee to having my own business. And she gave me that park because we had had many journeys about the amazing fear that I felt in terms of starting my business. And those fears were huge, and those fears still all huge. And there was no time that I felt those fears far more than when I started working Women’s Wealth. Starting my wealth business, Southern Pride Wealth, that was fun. I’d gone to university, I’d got the education, my brain knew that I could do it, and I saw the absolutely terrible advice that other people were getting on the hands of people who weren’t committed to their clients wellbeing. And so I had a huge passion for changing the way financial advice and wealth management was done.
So I had the kind of duty blanket of the degree, or the designations behind my name, and starting that wealth just seemed like something that was doable. But starting working Women’s Wealth was something that was hugely more terrifying. And that terror comes from the fears that I felt so deeply inside myself. In a corporate or in the corporate world, I had grown to leverage the strengths that I had. I had gone to a senior position. I had 20 years of experience in this, and there weren’t many fears that I felt on a regular basis. Even on [inaudible 00:03:32]yes, but I didn’t live in fear. I lived out of the strength of knowing that I could do a lot of this stuff WITH my eyes closed.
But starting working Women’s Wealth and seating so publicly a goal to teach a million women about money just was a recipe for failure. Because a million woman about money meant that I had to teach it over 30,000 a year, and I couldn’t teach over $30,000 a year one on one. So, I had to start and build this blog website that I had never built a website before. I needed to do videos because some people read, but other people learn through watching videos, or live action. And others are auditory. And so I knew that I needed, in order to teach women, I needed to use both auditory processing, visual processing, and also the ability to grasp the words. And so I needed to put myself up there.
But I’d always been a wing man. They’d always been someone in the corporate structure above me. It was never just me and when I was speaking or addressing people, they were large numbers of people, but I was in my strength. Yet now I was putting myself out there on videos that could last forever. We know that everything on the Internet last forever. On podcasts that would last forever, and in a place where all of my mess ups would be so visible to so many people, and I was gripped by fear. Fear of failure. Fear of being exposed as a fraud. They call it imposter syndrome. Fear of, I mean, who am I to record a video? Who am I to record a podcast? I’ve never been in broadcasting. I’ve never been an actress. I’ve never been a radio host. How would I do this? People will think I’m an imposter.
Fear of just the exposure that came, that feeling of being naked. And my dreams at the time, through that process of really setting up Working Women’s Wealth we’re completely back to the deep, deep, deep fear of being exposed. Of having my inner core exposed to the world and everyone laughing at me. And yet through this whole process I learned more about fear and more about what it took to overcome that fear than I ever have in my life. I was doing one of those New Year’s things where you rate your health, and your marriage, and your friendships and all of that kind of stuff, and the last point was to rate your personal learning. And I was 100 out of 10. I mean the personal learning curve that I’ve been on the last seven months has been phenomenal, and that for me has been a journey that in itself has been worth everything. Even if this all blows up tomorrow.
Because you see, when people say to me, “You are so clever to have launched this podcast, well done.” It really didn’t resonate with me, and the reason it didn’t resonate with me is because none of it is clever. It’s not clever to build a website, it’s not clever to start a podcast, it’s not clever to record a video. You just follow some steps and do it. The issue at hand is what is truly unique in the whole process, is that thing called bravery. The ability to walk into those fears and to take a different path. Because I could so easily have given into those fears, but I didn’t. And I then through this process, through this journey that I’ve been in, it came to me and one of the podcast interviews that I did actually with Lisa [Raliegh 00:07:01], was this whole concept of the fact that you cannot have bravery without the presence of fear.
One isn’t brave if you get up in the morning and have your cereal for breakfast. You’re not brave by doing everyday things. Why? Because there’s no fear involved. The only way you can possibly be brave is to have fear involved, is to take the fears that you face and face it head on. The heroines in any stories are never people who just do what they do. They are people who faced the fear and the fears inside them and the fields outside of them in order to create action that results in a meaningful change of circumstance. And I worked out this equation that between fear and bravery is courage.
Courage, there are so many different definitions about what courage is. The dictionary describes courage as the ability to do something that frightens one. Wikipedia describes it as the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation. And there’s a meme on askidea.com that I love, which is courage is not the absence of fear, it’s the ability to act in the presence of fear. And so for the series I came up with my own definition of what courage is. The choice of action despite fear. So, if bravery is the combination of fear plus courage will lead to bravery, then courage is the choice of action despite fear. So, I want you to take those three elements and just chat through them a little while.
The first one is choice. It’s hugely important to each of us that we understand that our lives are a sum of many different choices. We don’t choose to wake up one day and not have enough money to retire. We don’t choose to wake up one day fat and unhealthy. You see, the thing about life is that in reality we all where we are today for all the many choices we have made, big, small, and day to day ones such as not acting and getting up when that alarm goes. On my desktop, there’s a little post it note, and that post it note says, “Every time you choose to do the easy thing instead of the right thing, you’re shaping your identity. Becoming the type of person who does what’s easy rather than what’s right.
And I think that’s the thing that many of us need to be more mindful of, is that every time we choose what’s easy, we’re not going to a position to be and do what’s right. And so the first part of courage is that courage chooses to act despite fear. For each one of us, we need to be conscious of the fact that people who are successful have actively chosen each of the little steps that they have made. And instead of making it someone else’s problem out there, someone else’s reason why I’m in the position I am, they always choose to take accountability for where they sit today. And by doing that, they then allow themselves the choice to change the path. Because if it was your childhood that put you where you are today, you have no choice in terms of where your future is.
If you accept that, yes, that’s part of who you are and part of where you’ve been, maybe your divorce is part of your story. For me it was many wrong decisions along the way. They’re part of my story, but I sit where I sit today for all of those choices. And therefore, it’s my choice to choose a different life. To choose to wake up when the alarm goes off. To choose to save a little bit differently. To choose a different way of being. And part of that comes down to choosing to act. And that’s the second thing. Courage chooses to act despite fear. So that leaves us to action, and why is action so important? Well, because many of us have great intentions. We have great intentions to lose weight this year. We have great intentions to save more, but they remain intentions until we do something. Until we actually changed the path of our lives.
I really love Stephen Covey’s image, and I’ve mentioned it before, on the fact that the spaceship uses more energy to leave the earth’s atmosphere than it does through any other part of its journey. And that’s exactly the same for all of us. When I recorded my first four to five episodes to go live in my podcast, that took far more energy than the subsequent 14 I’ve recorded since then. And the reason why is because the massive energy was the fight inside my brain. I had so many fears, so many things that I needed to change. So many things that I needed to get over inside my own self, and so many fears. So many fears. I can’t begin to describe how terrified I was of this whole podcast thing.
To step outside of the shadows of great leaders who I had been so blessed to work under and put myself out there, open myself up for the criticism. There was nothing inside me that wanted to go through this process and to face those fears. But I needed to act, and so what I did in order to get me out of the stalemate with myself is that I actually invited my first podcast guest to an interview before I’d even worked out how to use the equipment, and how to record her. And the fact that the date was set up meant that I had to just do it. And once I had recorded her, I had to learn about how to edit this whole podcast thing. How to get the thing live, how to post it and get it onto iTunes. Because you can’t waste an hour of a person’s life interviewing them and then the thing never go live.
So, I created external accountability structures to push me through my own fears. To make me be accountable to someone else that I didn’t want to disappoint more than I wanted to wallow in my fears. So, that second part of my definition of courage is that courage chooses to act despite fear. It’s a choice that requires action. Which brings us to the last element, fear. This assumption that people become successful and that they look as graceful as they are, and it’s natural to them and it’s so natural to the rest of us. In all of the podcast recordings that I’ve done, of the amazing women that I’ve been so blessed to interview, the one thing that is common to all of them is that at each step of growing their circle of influence, taking a higher job, getting on their first TV program. Whatever it is that is that step, that huge step from status quo that each one of them have taken, the common denominator for all of them has been fear.
It’s resulted in many of them leading to fake it, I guess to get through it. But they’ve all acted despite the fear. And the assumption that we are where we are with no fear is truly a flawed assumption. Every single person, when they make those big leaps of faith are wrecked by fears, and especially that fear of failure. Because your first leap into anything new has no guarantee of success, and there are major failures that we all can make. Some of them are catastrophic and some of them less so. But I remember even in my first interview, my first interview, I forgot to switch on the microphone, and I was just hugely blessed that there is a backup microphone in the PC that recorded me. But it’s very unusual for a podcast hosts quality of sound to be worse than their guest who is on the other side of a Skype call. But that’s what happened.
So, some really great editing from my editor and a lot of time that it took to fix that, but at the end of the day, no failure is insurmountable, because the lessons you learn are huge, and haven’t yet made that same mistake. So, the thing all of us need to know is that anybody who has made a success has had to get over a huge multitude of fears. We don’t all have the same fears, but all of us have some form of fear, and that ability to be brave requires us to understand that courage is choosing to act despite fear. And so for each one of you out there, I really hope that you will know that this journey of life that we’re on requires us to be brave. It requires us to acknowledge our fears, but to have the courage to act despite each one of those fears.
So, I hope that each one of you will make a decision to actively choose a different path each day in your life. Actively choose to ignore the battle of the brain that’s going on inside you, where the one side of you says, “There’s no way you can.” Allow yourself to believe in that tiny voice that’s says, “But what happens if I do?” Allow yourself that amazing gift of starting to overcome your fears. Take courage and act. And remember, this is your life, live it to the best. I’m Lisa Linfield, and this is Working Women’s Wealth.