Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cautious or courageous? Which will you choose?

The key word in my life is communication.  I am a Gemini.....the sign of the communicator.  I still have my grade school reports.  They all say the same thing.  "Gillian has potential but she would go further if she didn't talk so much."  As an adult, I went on to get three college degrees in....you've guessed it.....communication.  I like to talk.  I like to interact.  I like to write.  I love to communicate.

So, last year an idea I had been incubating for some time burst through my consciousness.  The next ideal step for me, the ultimate communicator, would be a radio show!

I got really excited about the idea.  I even had a title for the show, a theme and a list of possible guests.  I investigated the logistics, the internet host I would use and a suitable time to reach several continents.  It was going to be awesome.  I just knew it.  And then.....I did nothing.

What?  What happened to all that enthusiasm, that planning?  Why did I baulk at the final hurdle.  All I had to do was sign up and sign in but I didn't do it.  What was I afraid of or, was it even fear that stopped me?

The start of a new year always has me wondering what I will do this year that I didn't do before, so when I approached this new year, I was faced with the dilemma of my failed radio show attempt.  Would I try it again?  If so, how would I get past whatever blocked me last year?  Did I even know what it was?

My journal musings led me to realize that there were two more "c" words at play here besides my desire to communicate.....caution and courage.  The latter had urged me to allow myself to play with the idea of a radio show but it was the former, not exactly fear, that had stopped me at the post.  Caution said "Wait a minute, what could go wrong here?  Are you sure you want to commit to doing something once a week at a regular time?  What if you can't get guests?  What if it is boring?  What if no one listens?" and on and on and on.

Now I'm not saying that caution is a bad thing.  Not in the least.  Caution stops us from stepping off the curb in front of a bus or eating three week old food from the back of the refrigerator or going out in subzero weather without a coat.  Sometimes, however, we let it have too much control.  Yes, I needed to address some of the issues it raised around the show but this wasn't a situation where I had to hand it the keys to my life.  Caution may have made me pause but I didn't have to let it stop me.  So why did I allow it to?

I believe that I let this happen because I didn't take the next step.  I forgot to summon courage.  Courage is something that is available to us all but it needs to be called forth.  Summon is a good verb for addressing courage.  Sometimes I think that I not only have no courage but that I actually have no access to it.  I forget that it must be summoned.

Have you tried summoning some courage lately?  Does this sound like a strange question?  Perhaps the notion of summoning something doesn't sit well with you?  I had to get over this too.  Summoning sounds demanding.  Well, it is and.....is that always a bad thing?  Most of us, especially women, have been raised to be polite little things.  We were told if we just asked nicely we might get what we wanted but that demanding anything, from possessions to attention, was always a bad thing.  So we ask nicely and then sit back and wait.  And nothing happens.

Don't get me wrong.  There is a place for politeness and political correctness but when it comes to managing our own lives and moving along our chosen path, demanding assistance has a place.  It is not a mistake that we talk about "summoning courage."  Courage needs to be called forth with determination.  This was what I forgot to do when it came time to launch the radio show.  I became my meek little self again and decided that it wasn't meant to be because after I put forth the idea, nothing happened.

Maybe you can join me in a little experiment.  Is there something in your life that you want to do but  have either talked yourself out of or have stopped at the last hurdle and abandoned the idea?  Let's try together to summon courage into our lives and get beyond those barriers.

If it works, and I suspect it will, I'll be launching my radio show soon (watch this space).  What will you do?


  1. Good post, Gillian. I think most of us suffer from the c's. We just have to learn to push through it and take more risks. We can't succeed if we don't even try (not an original thought but one that needs repeating from time to time).

    1. Thank you Patricia....I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

  2. Gillian, I followed your blog link through Patricia's tweet and am so glad I did. I think courage is part of my theme this year too. I'm trying to find my niche and rhythm with writing and it's not for the faint of heart. It means asking, stretching, putting new things out there. Eeks! But caution, at least in this case, is not going to help me fulfill my calling (yet another C word). Thanks for your post.

    1. Thank you Julie. I'm glad this was helpful to you and hope that you will visit my blog again!

  3. I chatted with Kerrie F. about something tonight after FAC that I've been toying with doing. I'm going to do some planning and checking, and then follow through. My own blog site changes are up and running, so it's time for something new.

    I look forward to your radio show...

  4. Hi Gillian. I'm now following via your NCW yahoo message.

    I tend to be cautious to a fault. My report cards always read "too quiet." :-) Thanks for reminding me that courage needs to be summoned and that it's okay, and necessary, to do so!

    1. Thanks Jenny. I remember the quiet people....I wasn't one of them! It's good to be both quiet and cautious when necessary....