Isn’t it interesting how guarded we tend to be when it comes to letting others know about personal challenges that require courage? Fear of failure is a mighty foe, but letting others in on our tryst with failure requires even more courage. Well, I’m here to convince you the risk is worth the reward.

Typically, when we plan to do something that requires courage, our instinct is to prepare for it, but tell absolutely no one about it. After all, the fear of the unknown goes hand-in-hand with acts of courage. The more unknowns involved, the quieter we become. The more we can’t control, the quieter we become. The more vulnerable we feel as we face a big challenge, the less we want to talk about it. We don’t always succeed at these acts of courage, but when we do achieve them, we can’t wait to tell others.

What if, rather than hide our acts of courage from others, we trumpeted our intentions to all in earshot?

This isn’t just a hunch of mine; it’s an active tactic I use, and coach others to use. I began trying this with authors I mentored. The author’s instinct was to tell no one about his or her goal to write a book, in order to avoid uncomfortable conversations from good-natured friends who might ask about how things are proceeding. By not telling anyone about their lofty goals, they protect themselves from being confronted by a lack of progress.

It’s another case of instinct versus logic. When you tell others that you are working on a book, it’s an uncomfortable topic, particularly when you’ve never written a book before. It’s only natural for people to ask you about it. However, when someone is trying to develop a book, one of the greatest gifts an author can be given is to be asked about it. The questions asked help authors prepare and practice for more important scenarios that require articulate and succinct responses.   But that’s not all. When a writer is working on a concept, the more he or she talks about it, the more ideas come from these conversations.   Where do you think many of my BLArticle® ideas come from?

This same philosophy is true for all kinds of challenges. When you tell others you are in career transition, it’s an uncomfortable topic, but it’s natural for people to ask you about it. It takes courage to put yourself out there and ask for help. Not talking about it might be instinctive, but it certainly isn’t logical. Why would anyone want to keep a job search a secret? When you do let others know, you extend your network. For the record, a new survey recently released places the number of job hiring’s – as a result of a network connection – up to a staggering 85%!

Do you see a pattern here? The downside of telling others about our goals that truly require courage is our fear of failure to achieve these goals. Personally, I respect those who try and fail! The upside?

  • When others know of our goals, we tend to work harder to achieve them.
  • When others know of our goals, we tend to expand our network of ideas.
  • When others know of our goals, we tend to stay committed to those goals.

I don’t know about you, but I think the upside here far outweighs the downside. That’s why I’m a big fan of putting our courageous challenges out there for all to see. I’m such a big fan; I’m investing in buttons! On these buttons I’m putting the words, “Ask Me About…” Whether you’re writing a book, in a job transition, running a marathon, climbing a mountain, or attempting anything that requires a significant commitment that takes you on a journey into the unknown, this button is for you! Who’s with me?

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