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20 Seconds

They say cowardice is infectious; but the argument is, on the other hand, a great emboldner. – Treasure Island

What does this excerpt mean to you? Do you think it really only takes 20 seconds of insane courage to do something epic in your life?

I can relate to this topic. I used to be a coward. At least I was brought up to feel like I was. When I was a little girl I was afraid of the dark; and those characters at Disneyland. My family would make fun of me all the time, because I would cry a lot. When I was afraid I would sleep right outside my parents bedroom because my father would not let me climb into their bed. As I grew up, people at school would make fun of me, call me names, and I would never stand up for myself. I didn’t understand why people were so mean.

I didn’t have many friends, I was a bit of an outsider, not very social. Things changed a little in junior high and high school, but deep down inside, the fear grew. One day during my lunch break at school a group of girls I had a falling out with approached me. One girl said some choice words to me looking for a fight. I withdrew from the situation, turned around and left. Little did I know that would become the epic moment that defined me in my early life. Years later I still vividly remember that day. Why didn’t I stand up for myself? What was I so afraid of?  Perhaps being publicly humiliated?

I could have used 20 seconds of insane courage at that moment. Not until later on in life did I discover ,at that moment, it had such an impact on my life. It changed the perception I had of myself. I spent years trying to prove to myself that I wasn’t a coward. I made wrong decisions by putting myself into dangerous situations which always set me up for failure.  In an excerpt in her new book: One Day My Soul Just Opened Up Iyanla Vanzant writes, “When you are afraid, you see and hear things that have nothing to do with what is.

As teenager, the last thing I would have learned or even thought about learning was something prolific as that. What I did learn (although I did not realize until  years later) was that I took the fear that perpetuated over the course of the years and turned it into anger, and resentment. At that epic moment in my life, I was afraid, but not of the group of girls, but rather of myself and what I was incapable of.

After a lot of  soul-searching, and a little bit of therapy, I learned that the fear, anger,  and resentment I had in my life was a façade. I had spent so much time believing I was a coward because I was taught – therefore I became. I am starting to take those courageous steps towards those 20 seconds.

How about you?

Share your 20 seconds of insane courage. What steps you are taking to reach that epic moment in your life?

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