"When I look at brave people, I wonder: How can they be like that?"
I'm going to teach you something that I use all the time to be braver in my own life. To be honest, I can't recall if I picked it up from someone else or created it for myself. No matter. What *does* matter is that it's very effective for grounding ourselves in what matters most and what's true.
It's something I say to myself again and again when I find myself at the edge of my comfort zone, with Clever Brain trying to convince me to turn back and abort the mission (whatever challenge it might be). It's then that I use these two words to shut Clever Brain down and bravely move forward anyhow. #progresscoaching
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My Loves! We are talking today about some brave things: Specifically, two words that I use to be braver in my own life.
This is something that I’ve been played around with for about two years now and have found it very effective. So I’m excited today to share some examples of big, scary goals that y’all have been telling me about—that you want to go after in your life.
Your Clever Brain—that part of your brain that runs on perceived fears and just wants to keep you safe and keep everything the same—tells you all kinds of scary things. Reasons why you should absolutely *not* be pursuing your big, scary goal.
So I wanted to give you a tool.
Two words that you can use to sort of counter Clever Brain’s very, very good reasons as to why you can’t reach your big, scary goal—whatever that is.
Why are we talking about big, scary goals? What is that?
This is a phrase that I’ve come up with (really, out of necessity), wanting to connect to what people really, really want. What I find, as a Progress Coach, spending my days talking to people about what goals matter most to them is that usually the kind of goals we set for ourselves are what I think of as “top layer” goals.
Meaning: They’re things that we reasonably think that we *might* be able to do. Often, they involve paying off debt, saving money, losing weight, creating new habits. What I find, when I get into one-on-one conversations with you guys and we go really deep, deep into what it is that would most make you feel alive and that you really dream about, that you may not even be *talking* to people about are these goals that I think of the big, scary goals.
Because they are so scary, often, that we don’t even really allow ourselves to take them seriously or believe that it is possible for us to actually achieve them. Because they seem so big and scary, we usually walk ourselves back and choose other goals instead. That seem more reachable, seem like we could actually get to them at some point.
So what happens is that the things that you *really* want, that would *really* make you feel alive and on-purpose and like a grown-ass badass person—we don’t touch!
We don’t actually go after them. And I swear to God: I think these are the kinds of goals that people talk about when they’re at their end of life and discussing regrets. “I wish I would have just gone for it.” “I wish I would have just believed in myself.” “I wish I would have just gone after *that.*” THAT is your big, scary goal.
So I wanted to give you these two words that can be used to help you start to even just warm up to the idea. That it is possible for you to go after a big, scary goal. I just want to do a P/S here: On May 1 st, I’m going to be previewing, doing a sneak-peek of my new course on this subject. It’s called The First Five Steps to Accomplishing Any Big, Scary Goal. It’s really a place for us to start.
It’s a place for you to consider taking this big, scary goal seriously.
Consider taking what makes you feel alive seriously. And really—take it from something that might be a fantasy or some sort of picture in your mind, maybe a movie that you play while you’re sitting in traffic, on your way to work in the morning—to try to take that and then bring it into the present. Bring it to where you are right now.
Because the only place that we can start and go after any goal of any size is right now, where we are. So we take the “big, scary” and we bring it to now—to next right steps, things that you *can* do. As I like to say, “the next right step is *always* the one that you can do.”
So the trick to getting started on a big, scary goal is to bring it back into the present, to where you are right now and what next right step you *can* take. That you are capable (of taking) with your skill set, your situation, your finances, your “limitations”—whatever those are—there’s still a step for you to take.
So I’m hoping that you’re curious about these two words. Your Clever Brain might be like, “screw Amy Jones…why isn’t she telling us the words?!” Ha. OK.
I’m going to give you some examples from the Tribe, from things that you all have shared with me very recently (about your big, scary goals). Then I’m gonna show you how we can use the tool here.
One of our lovely Progress Mappers, really a wonderful person, she had shared a big, scary goal of hers. It was funny, because it was one that—I’d had conversation with her before and had heard about the goal that she was going after (publishing her novel), which seemed like a big, scary goal as well—was really interesting, because when I asked her again to share her big, scary goal she came up with this one as well. According to her, it surprised even her (as she was writing it)!
What she said is her big, scary goal is to: Join a local improv troupe and perform regularly. Which I love, right? I mean, just imagine: If you are not a person that is used to being on stage or a “theater” person, so to speak, that’s kind of a big deal, right? Takes a lot of courage to get up there on stage and be in the moment. It’s improv. There are no lines that are rehearsed, so you’re really vulnerable and seen and THERE.
Knowing that she has taken some improv classes, it also feels amazing. She feels alive when she does it. So it’s very much a worthy yet “big, scary” goal for her!
When I’d asked her, “What does your Clever Brain saying about this?” What is your Clever Brain—that part of your brain that is deeply committed to absolutely nothing changing because it believes that you will be safer if you do not risk going after any goal of any kind, even if it’s one that would make you come alive. So her Clever Brain had reported back, and said:
1 // I’m not ready because I’m still taking basic improv classes.
2 // I really should be looking for a job instead or at least getting my mystery novel revised and published.
3 // It will stress me out because I’m a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and an introvert.
4 // I should lose weight and get into better shape so I look good onstage, especially since I’m no longer young.
5 // All the best performance opportunities are downtown and I live way out in the suburbs. Besides, my car is old (even though it runs OK now).
6 // I don’t have the right clothes, make-up, hairstyle—and no money to change them.
Pretty complete, right? Ha. Her Clever Brain who has listed all of these reasons as to why she should not pursue this big, scary goal of joining a local improv troupe and performing regularly.
Here is the tool, to use in a situation where you have a big, scary goal.
You have ALL of the reasons from your Clever Brain as to why this is a terrible idea. Why you just don’t have what it takes. That it’s just not gonna turn out. Somehow it’s gonna fail. You don’t want to embarrass yourself. Be reasonable, people! Your Clever Brain wants you to “be reasonable” and NOT take any risk.
So here are the two words that you can use when you hear your Clever Brain going to all of these reasons as to why you are not capable of going after your big, scary. Those words are: And yet.
These two words have been powerful for me. And transformative of my own life. When I started down this path of launching my own business, based on my own artwork, with a concept that was not really known or particularly easy to describe. When I was thinking about how much work it was going to be: To create a website that I’d never created before, to create products—and figure out who would want to buy them—and sell them, and have that be my living and support of myself. SO much came up for me in my Clever Brain as to all the reasons why that was terrible.
It’s just like the example I was sharing from one of our Mappers who wants to join a local improv troupe. We have these exciting ideas and then the Clever Brain comes in with ALL of the reasons why it’s not gonna work. You get to just notice. Listen and notice all of those reasons as to why you cannot reach your big, scary goal. And then, you get to say:
*And yet* I am willing to try. *And yet* I am willing to be be brave. *And yet* I am willing to be curious. *And yet* I still can take a next right step. *And yet* I know that I will find my way. *And yet* I can get help from whoever I need to reach this goal. *And yet* even if I fail, it will still be worth it.
*And yet* annnnnd YET! You can go on and on and on.
But “and yet” is that sort of place to pivot in your brain. To stop these onslaught of reasons from your Clever Brain as to why you cannot possibly reach your big, scary goal—or even go after it!
“And yet…” then you get to choose some sort of thought that is loving, that is grounded in your own knowing, your own wisdom. The strongest, wisest part of you, which I refer to as your inner Captain. It’s like your Captain is speaking! So Clever Brain can sqwuak and say all of the things and all of the reasons why it’s just not gonna turn out for you. And your Captain can come on and say, “And yet…Sweetheart…we are going to take a next right step.”
Because it matters. Because I really believe that we are not on the planet to be afraid of our big, scary goals.
And to be *reasonable.* Just to assume to we can foretell the future and that future is one where we don’t get to reach the big, scary goal. Because our Clever Brain has somehow convinced us that we don’t quite have what it takes.
Two years into my own adventure, I am happy to testify to the fact that there are so many things that we cannot know at the outset of any big, scary goal adventure. It’s just not how it works.
The key to this—the key to making progress toward something that really scares you—is to be brave. Two words to help cue things up, the courage for you to get your Captain looking ahead at what it possible, are the words “and yet.”
I want you to try it. I want you to experiment with it. And see, when you notice yourself starting to get the onslaught of Clever Brain reasoning (that’s just “trying to help you out” and trying to keep you safe, that’s always the rationale) that you can just acknowledge that that is going on. Those thoughts are passing through your brain. *And yet,* you are going to choose to take action from love, instead of staying stuck in the fear! In the Clever Brain reasons, as to why you can’t do this.
Hope this is making sense. I would love for you to comment below and let me know if this is resonating with you. Would love to hear your big, scary goal. Because due to the magic of technology and automation, we have a bit of a magic trick. Where if you comment below (this works only on Facebook, y'all—so do this on the Facebook video below) with the word “brave” then you will automatically get the details to the course that I am previewing the beginning of May. It is called The First Five Steps to Accomplishing Any Big, Scary Goal.
I’m really excited. Because this is a course that—after the first week of May, will be $97 and will be available for you to purchase. AND YET (ha) if you join me the first week of May and participate on a daily basis and come and do it live, then you get to attend as my guest, for no money at all! It’s just you showing up for yourself. You practicing being brave. And doing what I’m going to ask you to do over the course of the week that we shall do this together. It’s going to be five days, May 1-5, 2017. And I’m really excited!
Because I think that from the first day to the fifth day, you are going to see your big, scary goal in a wholly different way. As something that is indeed possible for you to go after! It’s gonna open up your whole view of what you think is possible for yourself.
Which is really exciting, because I don’t care what your big, scary goal is—I believe that the world needs whatever it is. And because you’re a human person and this is how humans work (that’s why I feel really confident in saying that I don’t need to know what it is to know that it is something, that were you to pursue, were you to bring it into reality). Even if you were to just make an attempt and don’t even quite get there, regardless, you making that effort, you taking that action, you being brave and building your courage muscles and really expressing yourself and your creativity and your ideas—what really matters to you—is of service to the world.
We need you. We need you to be brave. We need you to come alive. We need whatever big, scary goal it is that you have to come to pass. We need you to do it!
The thing is, that you have to be the one to decide.
Because if you don’t decide and you don’t believe enough in yourself and your abilities to figure it out and to find the help along the way, to learn new skills and to build new muscles—if you are not willing to say yes to yourself, nobody else can say yes to you.
So our dear Friend, who wants to join the local improv troupe and perform regularly—that is possible! Except if she said no to herself, before she even begins! The way for her to get onstage and doing what makes her come alive is for her to say yes to herself *now* and to start to take those first steps.
So I am inviting you all to join me, first week of May, and for you to get the details on how to do that and how to take that $97 course for free—just comment “brave” and you will get a message on Facebook. I will be very happy to bring you (as one of the first people) into this new adventure—a course that I’m very excited about, because I really believe that it’s gonna make a difference for you.
Alright, my Loves? So good to have you here. I’m excited to be able to respond to you in the comments. Just do it now. Just comment “brave” and let that be your next right step to getting what it is that you really want (and what scares you)!
I promise you: If it scares you, if it seems big and scary—that’s a *really* good sign. Because all that means is that it matters to you. And it is worth your time and attention and courage.
Alright, my Loves—I will see you next time. Bye!