Passion vs. courage
What is it that allows some people to harness their passion, to follow it almost effortlessly, yet it’s such a struggle for many others? For many it feels hard to even find their passion, let alone follow it! And if it is found, it is rapidly sidelined as a pipe dream. A “one-day” wish. An unrequited “if only”. “Found but not followed” is an all-too-common tale when it comes to living our passion. Why is this? What stops us when we have a burning desire to live life in a different, more connected, way?
Most of the time what stops us is fear. Fear that it won’t work. Fear that we will fail. That others won’t approve. That we’ve got it wrong. Fear. Fear. Fear. And here’s where things get stuck:
Our fear becomes greater than our courage. And when our fear becomes bigger than our courage we fail to act.
I have found working with so many beautiful brave coaching clients who become ready, willing and able to step up and create the life of their dreams, that deep deep, DEEP down almost everyone knows where their passion really does lie. They have just buried it under layers of fear. Their fear. The fear of those around them. Cultural fear. It’s not that they can’t find their passion — it’s that they haven’t found the courage to act on it yet.
And you know what, that’s a good thing. It’s good to know, that you do know — and you do, that whisper from your soul is there for everyone — where your passion lies.
You don’t need a game of hide and seek to find it. You actually just need to work your courage muscles, flex them hard and build them so they are bigger than your fear of moving towards that which calls you.
One of my favourite quotes of all time is from Anais Nin who said “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” For me that rings 100 per cent true.
Those with the biggest, most connected and passion-filled lives are the ones who have shown the most courage in moving towards them. Those with small and unhappy lives are pretty much always characterised by being driven by fear, conflict aversion and lacking in the courage to take a risk or make a stand.
Life truly does shrink or expand in proportion to our courage.
The super-talented author and professional lifehacker Tim Ferriss sums it up in a similar way: “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” And again, he is spot on. We are back to courage. It all starts with courage.
So consider this, if you have been seeking your passion for some time, consider calling off the search. Know that deep down you already know the answer.
Your passion isn’t OUT THERE to be found. It’s a deep whisper from INSIDE for you to call forth. It’s about developing the courage to not only listen to it, but to ACT on it. Consider that it’s less about passion and more about courage. Focus on the courage piece.
You can start developing that this very day. By having that tricky conversation you have been avoiding. By walking away from that situation that no longer serves you. By trying the new hobby that terrifies and excites you in equal measure. By speaking to the stranger at the party. Build your courage muscles. Every day presents new opportunities to do it. Courage. Courage. Courage.
It’s rare that you can’t find your passion; it’s much more common that you have not found your courage. If you are struggling to find your passion, instead focus on building the number of ways you display courage in your life. Once you change that pattern you will find your passion will present itself to you, right on cue.
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Through her online happiness programme Wellbeing Warriors, life coach Louise Thompson helps people unlock their happiest and healthiest life. Sign up at louisethompson.com and find more from Louise at here in Bite's wellbeing section.