Share via:
Posted

Finding Courage

progress not perfection

What catalysed me to take this step now? The real prospect of regret. Looking over the brow of the hill and seeing my gravestone. I’ve had a few moments lately to reflect on mortality. What the hell! Here I am.

“Boredom beats Fear! Like paper beats rock.” A life lesson learned from the guru Eddie Izzard that I’d like to share.

And so, I’m terrified. Why? I’m at home. Another beautiful day in Hamilton, New Zealand, at my laptop, safe and secure in my version of my castle. Life is awesome. Beautiful partner and amazing kids. Why the terror? This! This is taking courage – lots of it. I don’t mind being open about it now, because I’m changing.

Courage is different for different people at different times. Courage standing up in front of people, getting out of bed, saying “No”, saying “Yes”, saying what you feel, doing the test, staying, leaving, visiting someone, climbing a ladder, entering a burning house … there are so many acts of courage performed. Sometimes it is instinctive, like taking immediate action to save someone or else considered, non-urgent – like saying “yes” or starting something. This stems from a conversation (debate!) I had with my son about fear and courage. It got me thinking. Every situation. Every person. Is different. Would the person who instinctively rushed in to save a life be able to make a quick decision that wasn’t urgent. Who knows. We’re different. It’s all a personal judgement thing.

It’s our own journey.

I’m speaking here about my journey, my perspective. Viewing life through my filtered lens. My thoughts and feelings. Take what resonates, no matter how scary or difficult it may sound. A really good life is more than just good stuff.

“Wisdom is meaningless until our own experience gives it meaning… and there is wisdom in the selection of wisdom.” Anonymous (I picked it up from somewhere so let me know if you know).

When people take action it is not that these people aren’t scared – often they’re s**t scared. The key is they do it. As they say courage is not the absence of fear. I guess what I’m saying is there is a difference between your feelings and your actions. When you do something while feeling fear that is real, that is true courage.

To prevail, sometimes courage is all that is needed – or at least all that is needed to get started. Courage is taking that step without a guarantee of a successful outcome. None! It takes guts!

 “Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” – Eddie Rickenbacker

 I didn’t realise I’d be afraid of this but deep down I must have otherwise I would have done it a long time ago. I knew it needed doing.

I work pretty much 8 – 5 doing stuff I really enjoy. My life is great. I’m thankful. I’m truly blessed. I’m ordinary. Average. You wouldn’t look twice at me or remember me after a party. I have a small budget for EKO (actually no budget), just a few dollars borrowed and saved. Every dollar I spend here – and I’ve spent a bit trying out how to make things work for EKO – means I can’t spend it on family. No guarantee – just a dream and belief. I was diagnosed with late onset Type 1 diabetes a few years back. Bugger. That shook me. Bullet proof to casualty ward within hours. I’ll never fully recover – physically, mentally, emotionally. I’ve had other challenges and changes too. Another day. My point here is – things happen. Your confidence takes a hit. It is courage and belief in the dream that gets you up again.

I had the dream of using the internet to help people, help other people on their journey be the best they could be.  I would develop a site that all sorts of people could interact with. Content and tools. This was around the time social media such as facebook was coming on stream. My goal was “social media with a purpose.” Helping people. I was clear on my dream – not my course. There was no map. My dream was born, and ever since I’ve been slowly navigating forward and back to make it a reality. Always moving. Always procrastinating. Fear was there and I made excuses to cover it focusing on all sorts of other things. I’ve made many changes (mistakes?) as I’ve gone. Failed? Many times. I’ve changed direction, support crew, approach, tools, goals, lots of things – but not my dream. I haven’t achieved my dream – I’m only starting. I’m now living it!

What catalysed me to take this step now? The real prospect of regret. Looking over the brow of the hill and seeing my gravestone. I’ve had a few moments lately to reflect on mortality. What the hell! Here I am.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important.” – Ambrose Hollingworth

Fear Paralyses.

I’m writing here now, because I believe in what I want to achieve, however I did not believe in my ability to write and publish things on the internet for people to read. I was afraid. I used all sorts of tactics to avoid doing this, even though I knew deep down I must do this. Things I did included, focusing effort on immersing myself in irrelevant detail (but keeping busy), researching and learning EVERYTHING, questioning myself, seeking others to do stuff I should have done, ignoring it by focusing on other work, making excuses like not ready, too busy, no money, didn’t know enough, “I’m tired today”, pretending (believing) I wasn’t ready (when are you?), next week! There’s so much to do … so many things. So much time lost. There’s always a reason not to do something – and it seemed to me not one thing, it’s not black and white. Fear does that. Tricks you. It’s amazing how, although you want something, your very own mind stops you getting it. How is that? Things always look so much bigger when you sit and think about it, but usually once you get moving it is not that bad. I remember have a big pile of top soil dumped on our front yard, and had to move it to the back. I literally stared at it for weeks thinking how long it was going to take to move it. Finally when I got into it – it only took a matter of hours.

“All significant battles are waged within the self.” – Sheldon Kopp

What am I afraid of? I’m not sure. That’s the point. That I’m not a great writer and I’m exposing this to the world at large and I’ll be criticised or ridiculed. There will be people out there saying, what you’re doing doesn’t take courage – “what the hell are you talking about?” Maybe not for you. I can only ever speak for me. I’m launching into the unknown.

Maybe I care too much about what people think of me, and for that reason I keep my head down. So I’m caught in my own trap. Seek approval, so fit in, but step out. I have a dream that I know requires me to step out, but have a fear that has kept me from doing so.

This is something I’ve avoided, but must do. There’s no apologies here for speaking crap or writing poorly – my style will emerge and I’ll improve. Progress versus Perfection!

Believe me – this is taking me some guts to open myself up and be totally vulnerable. Courage! This is an unknown journey for me. I’ve never been here. I’m embarking on it with belief in my dream, support from loved ones (who may not believe in this the same way I do, but believe in me). Commitment and courage. This is my first step.

At EKOYOU we aim to support people be their best. This requires change. I’m going out on a limb and doing that for myself. I hope you will join us, or if not, at least feel your fears but don’t run from them. Embrace them and take the step and ACT. Courage. We all need help. I need it. You need it. It sometimes takes courage to ask.

Move.  Do something.

Whether you know your dream, or know you just must move forward but are scared – trust me just move.

I know lots of people have been through the stuff I’ve gone through, in different ways. They’ve been through the stuff you’re going through. I know we can make the tough journey better – together.

Unless my fears kill me when I push the send button on this, or there is an overwhelming torrent of “please don’t torture us – you’re not courageous you’re insane”, then “I’ll be back” (Arnie accent please).

I guess what it boils down to for me is that courage is feeling fear but believing there is something greater.

My feelings are – I’m scared. My behaviours (actions) are to write this, really launch EKO. I believe I have something to share with the world – without courage where would that stay? Inside me. Don’t let that happen to you. Do you want to stay safe – bored, or face fear and be you – authentic you? It’s your choice.

Never ever are you fully ready. The first step to courage is to step forward.

 “The secret to happiness is freedom. The secret to freedom is courage.” – Thucydides

I’m glad you’re with me. I’m with you.

One last thing.  If this has been helpful for you, please share it with someone you know – it just may help them too. Talk to me in the comments below too – there’s so much value for others when you share your view. Hope to see you there.

Yours truly, Mike

  • Mike Overwater

Mike's an ordinary bloke who had a dream, and wouldn't give up. As the founder of EKO Group, and co-creator of ekoyou.com, he thought it was time to share his truths and personal life lessons. Mike hopes to inspire you to always keep it real, to go for your dreams, and to let nothing stop you! Above all BE YOURSELF.


3 Comments


Jenny

Thank you Mike for having the courage to share your story and your dream. I feel inspired by EKO, already it has helped me to feel less alone in the journey. I look forward to the journey continuing to unfold.

Reply
Jack

You’re wise, friendly, discourse-filled, well nurtured son was kind enough to both you and I to share your work with me! I think he saw similarities. Keep going, you’re doing good. That is all.

Reply
Mike Overwater

Hi Jenny, Hi Jack. Thanks so much for your positive support, we really appreciate it, and want to continue providing value to people who want to live their best and most authentic lives. If there’s anything you want us to discuss, or things you think would be of value to you – please let us know, we’re working hard to do our best for you. Stay in touch. Keep it real. Be your best, Mike

Reply

Leave a comment

*