Can Courage Be A Currency?
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Hey, this is Rebecca Fleetwood Hession, host of the Badass Women's Council Podcast, and I'm so glad that you're here. Today, we're going to talk about could courage be a currency? I mean, we've got cryptocurrency, which is digital money. My old boss, Stephen R. Covey taught us about the emotional bank account, which was the currency of our emotions, so we do exchange other things besides paper money or coins, so how could we exchange courage? How could we use it as a bit of a bartering system? Let's break it down. Let's define courage. If you type that into your Google machine, it will tell you that courage is mental or moral strength to venture out, to persevere, withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Many of us who know and love the work of Brené Brown learned that the etymology of the word" courage" means to do something with our whole heart, so courage is a big part of our soul in our work, in our careers, in our lives, so I love toying with the idea of how can we exchange it: How can we exchange it with each other and for each other? If you break it down, you can find a plethora of writing and information about courage, the various types of courage. People will break it down into physical, social, moral, emotional, spiritual. I mean, even the Bible talks about courage. Deuteronomy says" Be strong and of good courage. Do not fear because God is with you," so courage is kind of a big deal. Then that begs the question: What gives a person courage? Because I'm not talking about," Hey, let's all go cliff- diving," or," Hey, let's jump out of a plane," I'm talking about just the everyday courage that it takes to live your own life, but also to be in relationships. What gives a person courage? Well, you can break it down into one hyphenated word. I guess that's two words hyphenated, which is" self- confidence." Then I love to just keep digging and digging and then say," Well, okay. Well, what does confidence mean?" because I love digging into the meaning of words, and so the definition of confidence is a feeling of self- assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. This is a huge part of my work as a coach, an executive coach. I do career transition coaching. I help my clients have a pretty of their own abilities and qualities, and so what I call" self- confidence" is standing tall in your story because confidence comes from that self- assurance of our own stuff, so being confident in our personal and unique value and relevance, and to use it to serve and impact other humans, because we do live in relationship, we live in community, we work in teams, we lead teams, so standing tall in your story means rising up from the traditional way that we've done it, which is searching" out there" for our answers, and instead to search within, to have that self- assurance and appreciation for who we are, our unique gifts, talents, and abilities. Standing tall in your story is about rising up into a mindset of connection versus control, so standing tall in your story isn't really about ego because it could sound that way or could be perceived that way. It's really all about being authentic, being vulnerable enough to be genuine, to be yourself, and this takes courage, courage to not only be yourself, but the courage that it takes to do the reflection work to know yourself. As I interview people in my coaching practice and networking, I've also posted several questions about this on social media and even put out some more formal surveys to really understand how well people know themselves and it's just starkly apparent that many people can tell you what they don't like about their life or what they don't want, but they have a much harder time defining what they do want. Everyone can tell you their title, their salary, the next job that they're vying for, but not many can tell you what makes them great at their job, what their unique gifts and talents are, because it takes time, stillness, reflection to find that, to be aware of that, to be intentionally aware of it. Oftentimes, it takes someone else holding up the mirror for you to see you. In fact, that it's one of my unique gifts and talents is to do that, to hold up the mirror, to help you see you. I have a combination of strong intuition and decades of interview skills that I built as a recruiter, but also as a bartender. I love people's stories and listening and interpreting, so I can actually help you do that. You can book a time for me to do unique gifts, talents, and abilities inventory. I'll put a link in the show notes if you want to do that. It just takes 90 minutes. You end up with an audio recording of that interview and you walk away with a list of your unique gifts, talents, and abilities, and how to use them really intentionally because this is the start of self- confidence. What's really interesting is once people start to get their list of unique gifts, talents, and abilities, and start to really know themselves well, then it also takes the courage to stand up tall in that, to be ourselves, so how do we trade this as a currency, the courage to be ourselves? Well, two things: One of the things that makes it scary is the uncertainty. We talk a lot about that here on the podcast. I call it the" sea of uncertainty." You've got to navigate that to be yourself, because what if nobody likes me and my uniqueness? What if people think my dreams and aspirations are dumb? Well, that would suck, and so we go into this," Well, maybe I shouldn't do it." The second thing is our uniqueness is so innate that we don't think it's a big deal, so we downplay it. In fact, when someone compliments us on our talents, on something we're good at, oftentimes, we dismiss it or downplay it. Sometimes, depending on what kind of headspace we're in that day, sometimes we wonder," Are they serious? Are they making fun of me?" because when you get complimented on something that's just so natural to you, you think," Well, isn't everybody good at that?" and the fact is, no, they're not. Here's a challenge for you: The next time you get a compliment on something, especially something that you think is just not a big deal, just pause for a minute and ask yourself," Hmm, is that a clue to my unique gift and talent?" and then either out loud or to yourself, just say," I receive it," because those are telling you about you. Because we don't see our uniqueness as a big deal, we think that the answers to being better, to improving, are out there somewhere, so we scan around looking for others to emulate, either from their own success or other books or podcasts or something out there instead of holding up the mirror to look and reflect at ourselves, inside our real inner knowing. That's really step one, know yourself. Then if we want to do that, we have to continually have time for stillness and reflection, to get comfortable and then confident listening to ourselves to build that self- confidence. Then, of course, there's always that universal force of good and evil. The more that we stand tall in our story, in our unique God- given purpose, darkness and evil doesn't like that and it'll send us thoughts of confusion meant to distract us and set us back down. When that happens, it's critical that we have others, relationships that we know and trust that can lift us up, but also hold that mirror up and help us see ourselves with more clarity and for others to be able to say," No, really, I need you to show up as you're doing that because it helps me." Your gifts and talents are meant to help other humans. Our uniqueness isn't for us. It's really to serve someone else. If you've listened to this podcast much, you've probably run into me telling the story of marbles and puzzles, so if you were to take a handful of marbles, each of them perfect, round, shiny, and you took that handful of marbles and you laid it on the table in front of you, what happens? All the marbles roll away because perfection doesn't stick together very well. But puzzles, puzzles, each piece unique with their jaggedy- ass edges, dust from the bottom of the box, if you put those puzzles on the table in front of you, and then you start to look intentionally for the beautiful side, where those unique gifts and talents lie, and then you start to look at how do these puzzle pieces fit together, and you realize that some of the ins are for the outs and each one of them is unique, so you have to be really intentional to find those connections. We're puzzle pieces. We're not meant to be perfect, round, shiny marbles. We're meant to each be unique and then intentionally look for those other pieces of the puzzle that we're meant to connect with because there's two characteristics of a puzzle when it's put together: One, it's far more beautiful, and two, it's far stronger. Our uniqueness isn't for us, it's for others, and it's up to us to put that out there so what we've got can serve others and what they've got, we can be served. The other thing about doing the hard work to reflect and really, really know ourselves in a deep way is through that kind of work, we then have a much stronger appreciation for the uniqueness in another. We can start to look at each other with a greater appreciation for the struggles and the vulnerability that it takes to be authentic, genuine, and to be ourselves. As you move through your work and your life, look for opportunities to affirm each other, not just in achievements and accomplishments, but to affirm each other in unique gifts, talents, and abilities. It'll be interesting, the responses that you get from people when you compliment them on those things. They may be exactly what I said earlier, not really wanting to receive them, and say things," Well, it's not a big deal," and it's important for us to, with loving kindness, say," No, really. It is. Keep showing up as that." I believe so strongly in these concepts of reflection to build self- confidence so that we can courageously be ourselves and then inspire one another that I actually designed a seven- month experience for seven women to experience this deep reflection and connection. They spend seven months getting to know themselves and getting to know each other and how they fit together as a community because this is about transformation, this is about deep knowing and connection, and the culmination of this experience is an event called Stand Tall in Your Story. Actually, our second annual one is coming up on April the 20th. Save the date, please. We're going to be live at The Vogue here in Indianapolis, and live at home. The event will be these seven women giving a TED- like talk of their story so that they can stand tall in their story, a story that they've discovered about themselves in themselves through this seven- month experience. It is my favorite part of my life in these chapters. Another thing that I love about it is I get to work with some amazing women that have joined me in this endeavor. Alex Perry is our speaker coach. We call her the# frontrowfan. She helps the ladies get ready for their talk. Nicole Bush helps them be confident in the clothes and the outfit and their style that they choose, not just for that day on stage, but in general in their life. Alissa Bartenbach works with them throughout to build courage and resilience and we use Brené Brown's Dare to Lead workshop to help lay a foundation for that. We don't just throw them out on stage. We don't just say," Okay, good luck." We let these stories rise up, we let these stories present themselves. Then once they feel like they have an idea of what their story is, Alex comes alongside them, I come alongside them. We help them craft the talk and practice and prepare to tell it on stage age because these stories rise up out of their deep knowing and it takes vulnerability and it takes authenticity. Just when they get nervous and uncertain about sharing their story, we're there to come alongside them and to remind them that telling this story of theirs on stage isn't just for them. Sure, it's going to help them build confidence and help them be more self- assured, but standing tall in that story on that stage is for all the other people that need to hear it, to be inspired and encouraged. This is self- confidence, courage- building for the women on stage and for those watching, so I hope that you'll mark your calendar to be either with us at The Vogue or with us live at home on April 20th. I can promise you, not only will those onstage be inspired, but you will be inspired from hearing a story where you hear something about yourself in that story. You'll say," Wait. You, too? I thought it was just me," or," If she can do it, maybe I can, too." In last year's event, I remember Denisa Lambert coming off stage and just hugging me so tight and saying," I feel like I just left 20 pounds on that stage of weight that I've been carrying around," because sometimes, these stories do need to come out. I remember afterwards, people just mingling and coming up to the speakers and just saying," You don't know how much I needed to hear that tonight." Or even today, Lindsay Tjepkemas has built a brand around her story. Her story was Boldly Be Yourself and she talks about all the labels and all of the things that were trying to be put on her over the years and it wasn't until she became more confident in her inner knowing that she began to be much more successful at home and in her career, and now, her business is thriving. She's made some post about this notion of being yourself and she's garnering all this, just courage and confidence in herself, but she's exchanging it as currency, and people are coming to her and say," Hey, will you come talk to my group?" or," I showed your video to my team," or my daughter. This is courage as a currency. The event is so important to do that for it to culminate into this experience, so we build in discussion time in- between the women that are on so that you can meet other guests. Whether you're live at The Vogue or whether you're live at home, the entire event will be to facilitate reflection and connection because the premise of the event is based on this truth, that when we stand tall in our story, we give others the permission and the courage to rise up into their story. Courage really is contagious and we can use this courage intentionally as currency for training our stories to inspire and encourage one another. Well, I can't wait. It's just 47 days away, but who's counting? Oh, that would be me. I am. I'll be putting tickets out on sale this weekend. I hope that you... Not just" hope," I expect, I expect that you'll hear this and think," I need to check this out." If you have any questions, reach out, we would love to answer them. We would love for you to gather your people together. This event isn't just for women. We had men and women last year, all ages, and everyone said they walked away inspired and they walked away feeling more confident in themselves and happy to have met new friends and new connections. Couldn't we all use just a little more of that these days? All right, I will put all the links to all the things in the show notes, and you're always welcome to message me and I'm happy to help and answer any questions. It's rebecca @ wethrive. life. Thanks so much. Make it a great day.
This week Rebecca wants you to understand how to cash in on courage and that is no metaphor. When you show up at whatever you do with courage, determination, and confidence people will want to be a part of your path. So, whether you are a software engineer, social influencer, or a school teacher you can cash in that courage and in doing so bring yourself and others to new heights that you can only reach when you stand tall in your story.
Join Rebecca and others at The Vogue Theater in Indianapolis for another edition of Stand Tall In Your Story coming soon. Follow the link for more details.