Tag Archives: courage

Leaders Intuit: Courage

29 Sep

Having to put my BIG GIRL PANTIES ON AGAIN AGAINST CANCER

Today’s post continues the introduction of our Leader Intuit Framework. I’ll be connecting the dots between courage and intuition, and showing how this can strengthen you as a leader and business person.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Steve Jobs

Last week, I had to pull out my courage card. It was a long time since I had so much pain. The doctor pushed the Novocain needle into the tender sole of my right foot and proceeded to cut out the growth that had been annoying me for the past two weeks.

I thought I could manage the pain that followed but finally I had to put my BIG GIRL PANTIES on and suck it up. Within less than a week, I was back for additional surgery to remove a cancerous growth.

I am in shock beyond words. I didn’t see this coming as I really thought that the growth would be benign. How did my intuition help me? I’m not sure that it did. Our intuition must be blinded when we are in a state of fear or denial.

The day after, the shocking news finally settled into every bone in my body. I was so ungrounded that I couldn’t even finish my wine…I’ve got to be very unsettled to not enjoy my daily ritual of a glass of wine.

There was a brief moment when I wanted to die as I had breast cancer in 2007 and didn’t want to ever go through that again. I now realize that new cancer can develop in our healing bodies and I’ve got to reignite the same fuel that got me through the breast cancer.

I know I’m not the only one to walk in the reality of a re-occurrence of cancer and that lots of courage is needed to get to the other side of wellness. But I’m still nervous and fearful though less than the day I got the news. At this point, I’m in a place to move forward – pain or no pain.

What is courage all about? It’s about taking the first step, building our momentum toward action. When you are courageous, you know you are facing down a challenging moment – not just facing it but taking action.

To be an intuitive leader, you need to take action on your ideas. It’s one thing to meditate upon an idea, but if those ideas aren’t brought forward than nothing changes. Sometimes your concepts may be new, risky or simply unorthodox – it takes courage to lead and develop expertise.

It’s time to put my BIG GIRL PANTIES ON AGAIN.

There are times when I’ve faced fear both professionally and personally. In those moments, I’ve found it essential to move despite the fear, to be present in the moment rather than sink into the fearfulness of what may or may not be.

Courage is an activating element that builds experience, confidence and knowledge resulting in rising intuition. You come to know all that you are capable of achieving, and it’s a lot more then you might think.

CamLens

There are many elements of courage, and different approaches to being courageous. Here are four competencies I feel will bolster your ability to be in the moment and act with courage as you face challenges.

Conviction

We strive with the power of our convictions. This action relies on the ability to be self-directed and self-controlled in our thinking and actions and to be free of emotional dependency. Obviously, standing up for what may not be popular rests on our degree of self-confidence and courage.

Being in the Present

To ‘be in the present moment’ is to live in and be responsive to each moment. It is to ground ourselves in our body and to be aware of the emotions embedded in our every organ, cell, muscle, fascia and body part. We must focus on the ‘now’ and not wander off into the complex world of ‘what if.’

Forgiveness

The word “forgive” means to wipe the slate clean, to let go of anger or resentment toward someone. If we can create feelings inside us of forgiveness or any other coherent heart-based emotion such as love, we can influence the field of energy in us and around us. With this energy, we can conceive of new possibilities.

Resilience

To be resilient is to learn to grow as a result of mistakes, setbacks, and feedback; to gain a new perspective. We must strive for balance by facing our fears when confronted with life’s ups and downs.

 

With courage, it comes to trust that you can take those first steps, follow what your gut says is right, and move forward despite fear or stress. This is an aspect of leadership not often discussed for fear of appearing weak, but it takes a great deal of courage to act. And, in fact, as you act, you grow.

Thank you to my dear friends, colleagues and family that have already blessed me with their prayers and love. I now realize that if we live in fear, we cannot be intuitive or courageous. Thank you for sharing this journey with me and others before me as well as others to come.

 

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Dieppe Seventieth Anniversary

9 Nov

You can read about history in all the books, attend lectures as offered, visit the museums and watch the movies. You can learn and it is good to learn, but walking the shores where men landed in the thousands to face off against the enemy – nothing else compares to the immersion of that moment. Standing on the beaches of Normandy, feet crunching pebbles underfoot: Suddenly, as you are fully present with your knowledge, your body and your spirit, there is a connection to something that much larger – an amazing stillness that exists in a place that once raged with so much pain.

Dieppe is without doubt a sanctuary of courage.

The beach in Dieppe

Here’s the fascinating thing about courage: is that in the moment of choice where action is taken, nothing about the situation feels or looks courageous. Instead there is panic, fear, regret . . . a cloud over the values you decided to pursue, and suddenly purpose falls wayside to darkness and chaos.

Think about stepping out of those boats and running onto the beach. Imagine as people are dying all around you. Of the 6086 men known to have landed on the beaches, 3,623 were either killed, wounded or captured.

I stood on the beach in Dieppe and listened to the silence. I looked at the tall white cliffs. I kicked my feet through the pebbled beach that was so challenging to walk upon. Seventy years after the disaster that was Dieppe, there was remarkable peace upon that beach. The war was over, the conflict resolved . . .

Sometimes when you need to fight for survival it can feel like the world isn’t bringing you any support, that the plan is flawed, and that retreat is essential. Retreat became the only option for the Allied forced landing against the German occupiers in 1942, but to have even showed up was a massive act of courage. (And retreat in itself is courageous as well – to accept the futility of a plan and move back . . . this is what happened after the devastation of Dieppe, and two years later with a much improved plan D-Day was launched.)

It’s been said that one of the main missions of Dieppe was a ‘pinch’ job – to steal coding devices and information so British Allies could crack through German coding which, had it been successful, could have shortened the war considerably. But the men who stormed the beaches had no way of knowing that, all they knew was they needed to hold the area for two tides . . .

I am in awe of their courage.

There is simply no way they could have seen the ‘bigger picture’ as they sacrificed their lives. (Particularly since everything was so secret, they were never told the bigger picture. Instead they were commanded to act, and they did so to fight the enemy.)

How do you sustain yourself in those moments, when you must act despite sickening fear? What do you do if you cannot see the bigger picture?

Trust  your instinct, stay true to your values, battle the fear, and when necessary, retreat and regroup.

This year for the 70th anniversary of Dieppe, I want to note those men who stormed the beaches. Not for a mission that failed, but for the courage of those soldiers. Standing there this past October on the beach, I gave my thanks to them for having fought for our way of life, our values, and for the peace that now settles across the coastline of Dieppe.

 

 

For images of my experience in Normandy, please follow this link to our Sister Leadership Facebook page and the Memorial Gallery.

 

 

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