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Why You Need Courage More Than a Plan to Achieve Success
Six years ago, I moved from Africa to the United States to pursue my American dream. I barely spoke English and didn’t know anyone there. All I had was $2,500 on my Visa card, and a head full of dreams.
My dream turned into a nightmare when I arrived at LAX where an immigration officer accused me of being a prostitute and tried to get me deported. I ended up in a detention center where I spent the next nine months. I didn’t have to spend nine months in jail. I had the opportunity every single day to sign a deportation paper and go back to my country, but I didn’t because I wanted more in life and I wasn’t going to give up on myself or on my dream.
It was challenging and in order for me to make it to the finish line and become the successful entrepreneur that I am today, I had to develop one skill: courage.
People often see courage as something unattainable. Courage is simply a decision one makes to do something even when they are afraid. Courageous people are not fearless. The only difference between them and others is that they don’t let fear stop them, decide for them, or define them or their future.
And courage doesn’t only manifest during critical times or when we have to make important moves. I love this definition of courage from Mary Anne Radmacher, “courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the silent voice at the end of the day that says ‘I will try again tomorrow.” More than an act, courage is the decision to act when it doesn’t make sense to act. We tend to focus on the act when we describe courage, and we fail to realize that decisions come before actions.
You can’t achieve anything without courage. From the moment we come on this Earth, we are called to be courageous. For a baby to walk, they need courage to get up and try to take steps knowing that they may fall. To have a job one needs courage to go for the interviews. To have the promotions, we need courage to apply for them. To have a lover we need courage to ask them out. To make a sale we need courage to offer our services. Nothing can be achieved in life without courage.
Doing any of those things for the first time is scary. We don’t know what’s going to happen. We don’t know if it’s going to work out or if the outcome is going to be in our favor. And we are conditioned to be afraid of the unknown.
The truth is that, if one wants more in life, wants to achieve great results, wants to be successful, they have to step out of their comfort zone. They have to make different decisions and choices. Magic happens when you have the courage to step into the unknown. That’s where you will discover your real strength, your real power, and what you are really capable of.
If someone would have told me that I could survive nine months in jail, I would have told them “you are out of your mind. I would die after a day in prison!”. Now I know that I’m stronger than that. Maybe right now you don’t believe that you are ready or experienced or qualified or that you have what it takes to achieve that goal. Or maybe you are afraid of the unknown and wonder “what if I fail? What if I make a mistake? What if I lose everything? What if people make fun of me?”. You will never know how far you can go if you don’t start the journey.
When I was in the detention center, people told me that it was impossible to win my case. Some had been there for a couple of years so they had experience, and I had none. It was only logical to believe what they were telling me. To believe that it was impossible for me to win my case while I was in detention, especially without a lawyer because even those who had a lawyer were in the same boat. It seemed hopeless. That’s unfortunately how many live their lives. Through other people’s experiences.
“If no one in my family or the people that I know, has ever done it, who am I to think I can do it?” I don’t have enough experience, not enough money, no degrees, no certificates, no support, so why bother? It’s impossible”. That’s what everybody in the detention center taught. “It’s impossible to win your case in this place.” Until I made it possible. Without a lawyer, I won my case.
Your goal seems impossible right now but you can make it possible if only you decide to give it a shot regardless of what everyone around you says, including the little voice in your head. If your dream doesn’t seem impossible to achieve, chances are that you are playing too small.
You will be amazed by the things you can achieve if you dare to take the challenge. Even when it’s scary. Even when it feels hopeless. Even when you don’t have all the answers. Even when you are not ready. Even when you don’t have the perfect plan.
About the Author
Name: Christelle Biiga
Professional Title: Inspirational Speaker
Bio: Christella loves to inspire and empower corporate leaders and entrepreneurs to have the courage to take bold action so they can achieve mind-blowing results.
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