“Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.”
― Alice Mackenzie Swaim
I LOVE this quote, because it expresses perfectly the courage we need to face our fears and make positive change in our lives.
You need courage to make any kind of change in your life, whether it’s career transformation, ending a relationship, starting a business, getting a promotion at work or battling through a nasty illness.
You have to stretch beyond your comfort zone unless you are happy to remain static in your life. By definition, beyond your comfort zone is an uncomfortable place, and to deliberately open yourself up to discomfort requires COURAGE.
However, you’ll be surprised at how little it takes to start building your courage. In this post, I want to convince you that it’s easier than you think, by sharing 6 stories of 6 “extraordinary ordinary” women.
I am sure that all of these women would identify with fragile blossoms more than towering oaks! Yet each of these “fragile blossoms” has made huge transformations in a short period of time.
All 6 of these courageous women took my Stepping Up programme a few months ago. I think you’ll be inspired by their real-life stories. Each has made significant and real transformations in their lives. Enjoy!
She actually ended up setting up not one but TWO businesses because she discovered something that she truly believed in with the 2nd business. However, in order to move forward with this, she had to get over what her family and friends might think of this. She had held herself back because she was worried what others might think. But she took the first step by getting really clear on what SHE wanted, rather than what others thought she SHOULD want.
This amazing lady’s story is one that would have you transfixed and horrified as a fictional drama on TV. But it was real: She had suffered greatly from a sustained “attack” by a group of people filled with fear and hatred. For this woman, even making the decision to JOIN Stepping Up was a huge one. But she took that first step. And that step led to many more. 3 months on and she has battled through ups and downs, sometimes taking two steps back for every one forward!
On this journey, Maria has begun to regain something very precious – her self-belief. She tuned into HER values, which gave her more strength. And gradually, her confidence is returning. This lady is becoming more courageous every day. By the end of Stepping Up, she had started to rebuild her business, something she never thought she’d have the courage to do.
Not only that, she has been bold enough to negotiate the job as work from home and 3 days a week – even though it was originally intended to be full time in an office. She is over the moon and she tells me she would NEVER have even approached the company in the first place without my support within Stepping Up. We did quite a bit of email coaching back and forth and I remember her first email when she saw the opportunity. Claire wasn’t sure she dared to approach the company. I dared her. She made the first contact and the rest is history in the making!
Patricia was volunteering for a charity. She rose to the challenge with one of the Stepping Up exercises which required her to email or phone people and ask them to answer 6 questions about her. She took a deep breath and got more than she bargained for. Not only did she get feedback, she got a job: The feedback made her realise she had been under-valuing herself. This planted a seed in her mind: What if she could secure a PAID position within the third sector? It was an idea that had never occurred to her before. And lo and behold the perfect opportunity presented itself. And Patricia took it!
But there’s more! Patricia attended an interview for a place on the board of another charity. She consciously saw herself as their equal, something she often struggles to do. Like many of us, she is great at seeing other people’s strengths and her own weaknesses! She is now overcoming this Imposter Syndrome and going for it!
Jess had lost her mojo and was grieving for her life abroad after she and her family repatriated back to the UK earlier this year. She felt lonely, disorientated and directionless. We found her mojo was merely hiding. We soon coaxed it back out by getting Jess to tune into what made her feel alive, on purpose, connected and full of energy. She only required the merest nudge!
Once she’d realised what was important to her and what she needed, she took action – baby steps – to get her needs met. Jess has taken up running, made new friends, attended networking meetings, sold her house abroad, been back to visit her old friends, eliminated a fear she’s carried around for years and got clarity on the direction of her career. She says she’s excited and “scared” because that career direction feels more like a “calling”. Phew! What a ride!
She really stepped up to a new and exciting level within her role: Suzanne took on this
s-t-r-e-t-c-h challenge in her career whilst also managing everything by herself at home with a young child during a period when her husband working very long hours.
But that’s not all! During her time on Stepping Up, she started a new dance class, booked a holiday in a place that makes her soul soar and created a plan to set up her own sideline business!
I almost forgot to mention – Suzanne also found “the house of her dreams” She put in an offer and has just signed the contract to exchange on that house today! Suzanne said that key to her being able to step up in this way was learning to “trust her own instincts and her own experience”
These women are just like you. They have self-doubt, put themselves down, worry, have problems, get poorly, feel upset and have to deal with unexpected curve balls whilst they are stepping up.
They are not great strong oaks who know no fear. They are fragile blossoms, opening even when it’s cold and snowing outside.
The only difference between these women and you is that they took a deep breath and took the first step. The first step they took was a risk: They made the decision to invest a little money in their future happiness and success. They enrolled on Stepping Up back in February.
Here’s a suggested first step for you! Click here and find out more about Stepping Up TODAY!
The early bird bonus I’m offering is quite simply AMAZING and it disappears for good at 6.01pm Saturday 16th May. The bonus is so deliciously good I have considered removing it before this time.
If you’re willing to be courageous, I’m right here waiting for you to blossom. And I’ll be here for you, even if it’s snowing!
If these stories of transformation don’t convince you, then nothing will and Stepping Up is most definitely not for you. I could have added another 6 stories if I had the time! But if you are thinking of joining us for Stepping Up and you courageous enough, then I would be honoured and delighted to help you.
But do it now. Before you forget. Before some little person screams for your attention. Before you’ve had a glass of wine tonight (and you forget!). Before you charge around on Saturday doing the shopping, doing chores, head off to do some sport or start your weekend taxi service. Do it now because there are only 10 places left and the early bird bonus ends at 6pm BST on Saturday. And if you’re wondering what it is, just scroll down to the bottom of the Stepping Up page!
If you’re willing to be courageous, I’m right here waiting for you to blossom. And I’ll be here for you, even if it’s snowing.
By the way, if you would like to chat to any of the women mentioned above before you join Stepping Up, feel free to contact me. I have changed their names to maintain privacy within this post, but they are each happy to be in touch via email with individuals wanting to explore Stepping Up.