Over the years, I would look in awe at other people’s lives – the adventures they had and the big things they achieved – and think that they must not feel fear like I did. I used to think that perhaps they were made of different stuff than me or that they had a thicker skin. However, I now realise that they were not superhuman like I imagined them to be. In fact, they weren’t fearless at all but had simply mastered the art of being courageous in pursuit of their goals. They had become proficient in the art of feeling the fear and having a go anyway.
By definition, courage means “the ability to do something that frightens one”. Fear is a prerequisite to courage; you can’t have one without the other. So if you have the capacity to get frightened, you have the capacity to be courageous – which pretty much counts for us all.
When we first started Bounce, we had to dig deep and pull on all of our resources; discovering within ourselves the necessary courage and strength to move forward. Every big leap we have taken so far has required a leap of faith of some sort. So it’s been important for us to share this message with our customers; encouraging them in some way to engage with that courageous part of themselves and to see what big things they might be able to achieve in their own lives if they so dared.
When we first began selling Bounce in Australia, we created a cheeky slogan for our customers: What would you do if you had the balls? It was both provocative and tongue in cheek, yet a serious invitation to live a courageous and bold life. Since then, this slogan has morphed into Grab Life; a statement which carries with it an unspoken invitation to grab life by the balls, whilst being somewhat more politically correct.
Recently my husband and I have been contemplating this ourselves. Are we prepared to Grab Life by seizing the opportunity to relocate for a period of time to set up Bounce USA? Are we prepared to live by these words?
To be honest, it takes a little time for my courage to kick-in. Whenever I face a goal that frightens me, instead of grabbing the opportunity, I initially push back. All the reasons why I shouldn’t do it came flooding in; I can literally feel myself contracting under the weight of my own resistance.
Thankfully, I know myself well enough to allow these feelings to come up, which requires a certain amount of courage in itself. I believe it is important to feel the fear fully. After all, it’s important to determine the difference between a healthy fear that protects you (and you should therefore listen to) and fear of the unknown, which can be an opportunity for growth when you proceed in the face of it.
How do I know the difference? It’s not the same for everyone, but the answer for me usually involves taking some time to mull it over, talking through it, and perhaps meditating on it. Once the initial voice of resistance fades, I allow myself to ask the question, “What if?” “What if taking this opportunity was exactly what we are meant to be doing?” And then I listen and keenly observe my response. If a sense of calm curiosity emerges, then I know that it is an opportunity worth exploring.
Sometimes the most courageous thing you can do is allow yourself to fully explore all options – to really go there. Thinking it through can be like a dress rehearsal and can help the initial nerves subside.
Even though the idea of packing up and relocating our family still scares me, the deeper part of me, my intuition, feels settled and knows that it will be a tough transition but ultimately a rewarding one. So, I am pleased to say that we are going to Grab Life; and with it the opportunity to have a crack at the US market and have a family adventure along the way!
I hope that my ramblings speak to you in some way. Perhaps you are mulling over a tough decision of your own or contemplating a change of some sort. If so, I hope it makes your decision process a little easier or may just help you take that leap!