PSYCH OUT: Jaime Harrelson
Psych Out is an ongoing series on the topic of fear & creativity.
In response to many of our readers expressing that fear often blocked their creative flow, Seymour asked a variety of entrepreneurs and artists to share their experience in their own words. Discover how they get over anxiety and self-doubt and find the strength to move forward with their projects.
JAIME HARRELSON is West Coast born and a Wanderer at heart with a penchant for living in France. At work, she is an advertising strategist, shepherding brands to do the right thing. At play, it’s all wine and paint brushes. Jaime currently lives in San Francisco with her chef husband. For more about Jaime, please visit: jaimeharrelson.com
by Jaime Harrelson
Define courage. Go ahead, we’ll wait…
When I ask people this question, they typically come back with an idea more resembling bravery. Huge, daunting, perilous circumstances and the willingness to do it anyway. That’s not courage though – it’s bravery. Knowing the risk (i.e. life or death, burn or freeze, catch or miss) and jumping in with both feet.
Like bravery, courage is active. It’s a conscious choice. Courage, however, seems almost invisible… It happens internally.
My friends and family have called me “brave” or “courageous” for much of my life. And I’m so flattered. The praise is followed by something like, “I could never do what you did.” As if there are two types of people – the courageous and the… nots.
There is no such thing as a courageous person.
Because courage is ALWAYS a decision, ALWAYS made in a single moment. Courage NEVER comes passively, no matter who you are.
I’ll go for weeks without pairing courage with my daily grind. Think of all the moments that add up to make weeks. That’s millions of moments where I am on autopilot, relying on my experience and intuition. That’s zero moments where I choose to be conscientiously courageous.
This is how we get lost.
This is how we lose our creative drive and momentum… and forget our intentions.
Challenge yourself to create one moment every day where you say to yourself, “Courage!”
The rest will happen naturally. Because when you tell yourself “Courage!” your highest, most ballsy self will show up and buck like a bronco. You will feel progress happening in that moment. You will feel powerful again.
So forget about trying to become a “courageous person.”
The word “courageous” doesn’t come anywhere close to defining the essence of courage.
Courage is a verb. (Just not in the dictionary.)
I dare you to courage (v).
Published: April 30th, 2013