Machen MacDonald: Be BRAVE to succeed | TheUnion.com

Machen MacDonald: Be BRAVE to succeed

Machen MacDonald
Columnist

In order to grow, succeed and prosper, we need to step into our greatness and to do that we need to be brave.

Bravery is like courage in that it is not void of fear. Being brave is noticing the fear, feeling the fear and doing what must be done, when it needs to be done, to realize the goal. M. Scott Peck in his book “The Road Less Traveled” wrote, “Courage is not the absence of fear; the absence of fear is some kind of brain damage.”

Assuming we don’t have brain damage, we are all going to experience fear from time to time throughout our lives. Fear is not out there. It’s inside. It lives in our head. We manufacture the fear that holds us back. We manufacture the fear that propels us forward. Fear is not good or bad; it just is. We can learn to work it or it will work us. We can even learn to overcome it through the regular application of these five practices.

B – Break free of the limiting thoughts that hold us back from greatness

Fear is just a type of thought we have throughout the day. Some of us are brilliant at focusing on our strengths, talents, and what can go well, while others are brilliant at focusing on weaknesses, inabilities, and what can go wrong.

Whatever we focus on expands in our mind and thereby creates our experience. To break free of limiting thoughts, shift your focus. An excellent way to do that is to develop the habit of guiding your thoughts and taking inventory every day of what qualifies you to be great. We all have greatness within us. Look for it.

Here are some great questions to find the evidence you are great:

What is something I realized or learned today?

If I was my own high-performance coach, what could I acknowledge in myself to know why I am great or on my way to becoming great?

What is something I did to make another person’s life easier?

How did I advance toward my goals?

How did I contribute to the greater good today?

What did I do or accomplish I could not have done a year ago?

R – Realize our Readiness

We always have all that we need to get started and move forward. All the lights may not be green before we start our journey. They don’t need to be. Just as we have learned to deal with whatever color the light may be when we approach it, we can learn how to deal with setbacks and surprises as we come upon them.

We don’t need to be able to see the whole road ahead of us to our final destination either. We just need to see the next few hundred yards and navigate accordingly. When we chunk down our projects to bite size pieces and then focus on one chunk at a time, we keep ourselves out of overwhelm and in the lane that gets us to our destination.

A – Ask and Activate

Ask ourselves the right questions that will activate our willingness and courage. Ask of others the right questions that will yield the intelligence needed to advance. There is power in asking good questions. We must learn to ask the questions to which we want the answers and avoid asking for what you don’t want. This seems like common sense.

However, it’s not too common. Thinks about it. Asking questions is the same as using a search engine on the web. If you type in, “Why can’t I earn enough money?” The search comes back with all the reasons why you can’t earn enough money. Duh! You probably didn’t really want to know or be reminded of that. A better search is, “How can I make more money?” The search will come back with entirely different results; the results we really did want.

Asking for what we don’t want keeps us stuck in the cul-de-sac of suck. Asking for what we do want will get us out of the dead end and back on the highway to success.

We don’t have to have all the answers. We do have to have good questions. Questions are the answer.

V – Vulnerability is an ability

Be willing to subject ourselves to pain, embarrassment and failure so we can feel and thereby learn. By doing so we realize our true strengths to share with the world. Vulner- is the Latin root for wound. We have to be willing to endure some pain along the way to our greatness in order to grow, expand and become better. We are going to get our feelings hurt. We may get our hearts broken. We may lose a fortune. If we pay attention, we learn from these episodes in life and go on to live another day with increased capacity for achieving more.

As the great business philosopher Jim Rohn use to say, “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.” Becoming better often comes from being willing to endure hurt. Where we are most wounded, we are also most accomplished.

E – Engage and Execute

Life happens on the field and in the arena. It’s the ultimate dance and interaction with ourselves and others. By not engaging and not taking action we are playing it safe, playing not to lose. Having hidden behind the mask and the armor, in the end, is the most dangerous place to have been.

This week get your brave on and live your greatness!

Make it up, make it fun, and get it done!

#1 bestselling author Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley, CA. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at coach@probrilliance.com and 530-273-8000.


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