“Courage isn’t the absence of fear; it’s taking action in the presence of it.”
Taking this picture was a major breakthrough for me. Reason being, fifty-one years ago after violin practice at a fellow orchestra member’s house, I was bitten on the face by his “friendly” dog, I was eight years old and had to go to the hospital to get stitches. I still have the scars on my nose and lip. Ever since that incident, I have never let an animal get close to my face, no matter how “friendly” it was.
That negative memory—fear almost caused me to miss an opportunity of a lifetime. We were in South Africa in 2015. The trip was a bucket list item for me. We had been on a safari for a couple of days, and I could not wait to go to Lions Park so that we could see the animals even closer. It was amazing! However, when it came time for me to take the picture with the lion after my each of my family members had taken hers, I was scared as hell and faced with a decision: Either take the picture or let my past negative experience and fears hold me back. I didn’t initially have the courage to take it. Then--for reasons, I don’t know--I thought one of my all-time favorite movies, “The Wizard of Oz.” I remembered how the lion, tin man, scarecrow, and Dorothy all had within them what they had gone to the Wizard to get: courage, a heart, a brain, and back to Kansas. All of a sudden, I said to myself “Oh, hell no! I’m not about let a fear cause me to miss a present opportunity.” I walked up and took the picture, which I now cherish.
Each of us has our bucket list of dreams, aspirations, goals, and wants, but we let our fears prevent us from pursuing them. Fears generated by negative mental and physical past experiences, the unknown, and negative comments others have said that stop us from pursuing what we desire. When we see them pass us by, we then start wishing we had more courage. Well, we don’t have to follow the yellow brick road to see the Wizard to get courage. We already have it inside of us. All we have to do is act. So, let’s commit today to asking, seeking, and knocking for the things we want. If you do, similar to me, you will have a major breakthrough and achieve the things you want.
You don’t have to wish for courage; it is already inside of you.