Is it a good idea to risk humiliation in the name of becoming a more courageous version of yourself?
Why? Because the more we challenge ourselves to step out of our comfort zone, the stronger we become and the more we can and will accomplish. If you don’t challenge yourself, you won’t grow. It’s that simple.
Just as it is with our physical body, it is with our mental or emotional states. If we don’t push our body to perform at a higher physical level, it will remain stagnant, or even deteriorate.
Challenging ourselves physically as well as mentally is a good thing.
Recently, I participated in a Lit Night at a local Ale house. I’m not going to lie, was most definitely a push out of my comfort zone. I was anxious about the reading for several nights leading up to the actual night at the mic. But I wanted to stretch my “courage muscle”. As torturous as it can be, I do like to stretch that particular muscle at least a few times a year.
How did it go? Well, probably as you might expect. It was fine. I was a little nervous, yes, but I did it and I feel great to have done it.
I didn’t know if I was going to humiliate myself, but I figured it was five minutes of my life, then it would be over. Whatever happened, I would survive. I might even come out of it with a good, funny story to tell.
To increase my odds of NOT being humiliated or too nervous, I practiced reading out loud for several days in advance. It helped so much to hone the tone and cadence I wanted.
What I didn’t account for, was becoming a little emotional while reading my story. Yep, I did that. The story touched on the sad subject of growing old and losing your memories. And while I felt for the main character of the story, I had never been moved to tears. Not until I read it to a crowd. Of course.
The vulnerability I felt in putting myself out there the way I had, and being nervous, lowered my usual defenses, resulting in a rise of emotions. I wasn’t thrilled to hear the emotion in my voice, but in the end, it may have been a blessing. I was told it added to the tone of the story and was in line with the subject matter. So there you go.
I wasn’t humiliated, but I was embarrassed. Still, I finished the reading and walked away with my head high and shoulders back.
If something isn’t easy for us, it probably means we should do it.
Remember, courage is not the absence of fear. Being afraid and doing what scares you anyway, that’s courage. You’ll find several different quotes by several people, all worded differently, but meaning the same thing I’ve said here.
So face the thing(s) that scares you. Face it, conquer it, and watch that courage muscle grow.
Happy reading my courageous friends and fellow book addicts!
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” –Winston Churchill
The Second Life of Mirielle West