Finding the Courage to Tell Your Story

Courage Fear blog.png

This week I had the privilege of hosting a coaching session with a young woman from Australia who I believe has the talent to take their bike advocacy world by storm.

I can't tell you how exciting it was to talk to someone from the other side of the world about what's going on in her life, her advocacy efforts, and their greater bike advocacy world.

She absolutely has the potential and the passion to be a game-changing leader. And frankly the world needs her voice (and it needs yours too). But first she's got to find the courage to tell her story in multiple ways to a growing audience.

But isn't this really the challenge that most of us face?

In My Work I Find That...

>> We're afraid to tell our own true story or stories for fear people will criticize us and tell us our stories don't matter.

Everyone's authentic "why I do this work" story matters. No one can tell your story of why you're doing this work the way you can, don't make anyone else responsible for it.

And yes, you will encounter critics. But unless they have valuable advice to uplift you and help you get better at telling your story ignore them. Especially anyone who is being anonymous.

They're a coward and not worth your attention.

>> We're afraid to learn the skills to be really great storytellers and communicators and move beyond our current comfort level

We like our comfort zones. Often we get into a particular groove and want to stay there - and we want others to magically discover us and support us and promote us even if we're hard to find, or inconsistent with our outreach.

This is magical thinking. I know it well. It kept me trapped in a mindset that I was the sort that should promote others more from "behind the scene" rather than stepping forward myself.

I finally realized I can't ask people to be courageous and step forward with their stories if I don't step forward as an example myself. Thus this new video series!

>> We're afraid to ask for the opportunity to get up on larger and larger stages to share our stories to bigger and bigger audiences

All of this fear comes from a sense of unworthyness, that you're not the right age, shape, race, or from the right background or education level to truly excel.

What if every day you instead gave yourself your own #permissionslipfromgod or #permissionslip from the universe that you are worthy just as you are? That you are enough just as you are?

Only by accepting exactly where we are, with all of our fears and doubts can we actually move forward good, solid progress.  

1. Get Clear on Why You're Doing This Work

What gets you out of bed in the morning about what you're doing? 

I don't know about you, but I'm here to be a change agent.

I think you're a change agent too, even if you're finding it hard to say it out-loud.

Your 75% there, 85% there, and 95% there are someone else's 110%. I learned this from Lisa Nichols. 

Lisa Nichols is one of the most talented and effective motivational speakers on the planet. This former athlete and single Mom from a tough neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles rose from poverty to being one of the only African American women in the U.S. to have a successfully publicly traded company.

If you take the time to listen to her for just the first five minutes of this talk she'll change the way you think about yourself. If you listen for the whole thing you'll be on fire to begin telling your story in new and powerful ways.

Ok, now you're intrigued, you feel inspired. What's next?

2. Create Short Sweet Baby Step Improvement Goals

These goals can be daily, weekly, or monthly - or all three. What small incremental improvements can you make for each email newsletter, social media post, or live presentation?

The key is that they are very specific, that you understand what you're reaching for, and that they're measurable so you'll know if you've hit your mark.

You may have noticed that my email newsletters have been coming out at very different times lately. This is because I'm researching when is the most popular time for them to be opened. 

3. Be Clear On Where You Want Your Goals to Take You

My partner Charlie uses the lay down, stretch and visionary goal setting technique for this and it's a tool I use quite a bit.

I'm currently working with my friend Ryan Snyder on his goal of being a popular media spokes person on public policy and Autonomous Vehicles here in the U.S., and frankly around the world.  

Ryan absolutely has the chops for this visionary goal. He's been one of the thought leaders on active, sustainable mobility in the U.S. for the past 30 years, but he hasn't before systematically focused on media outreach the way we're doing together now.

Ryan is hosting the traveling "Autonomous Vehicle Policy Conference Series" with Transpo Group this year, and just this week he's featured in an in-depth article in The Wall Street Journal. You can download that article here.

What's the baby step towards finding your courage and telling your story that you can take today? Let me know!