The Courage To Quit: How To Know When It’s Time To Go

It’s time to quit when the thing you’re doing is causing you to quit on yourself. I felt the edge of the sofa cushion starting to give out. I had been sitting there for a length of time I can’t remember with my torso arched over my thighs and my elbows pressed into my knees. My feet were placed firmly on the hardwood floor, but the weight of my thoughts made me sink deeper into the sofa. I could feel my butt sliding closer to the edge of the cushion which made it bend toward the floor, but I couldn’t manage to...
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Why Inaction Might Be The Most Courageous Action

Somewhere over the course of my research on courage, I read a story about two military leaders in battle.  Both were faced with a decision to advance or retreat against the enemy. One leader knew he and his men would not win, but he didn’t want to return home, dead or alive, labeled as a coward. So, he advanced, and he died. The other leader didn’t have stellar eyesight and didn’t feel good about taking his men into battle with impaired vision. He decided to stay back — knowing he would be taunted as a coward upon his return home....
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What Do You Want The Courage To Do?

I recently asked 125 National Society of Leadership & Success conference attendees what they wanted the courage to do.  Nearly a quarter of the respondents, 24.5%, wanted the courage to stand or speak up for themselves. This was the most popular response. And, it got me thinking.  Of all the things we can fear, why are we afraid of siding with ourselves? It comes down to one thing.  Fear of loss.  Overwhelmingly, youth and adults, alike, are afraid of losing — friends, jobs, family connections, intimate relationships, status, normalcy, money, power, stability and more.  And, the two biggest sub-categories within...
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Youth Are Asking the Wrong Question about Confidence

Youth all over often ask me, “how do I build confidence … to audition for a team, stand up for myself, travel abroad?” Their curiosity is good, but they’re often a bit surprised when I politely tell them, “you’re asking the wrong question about confidence.” Youth know how to build confidence – just like they know how to tie a shoe.  The confidence building process doesn’t change according to tasks. Strategies used to confidently tie a shoe are the same strategies youth can use to build confidence for everything else, including the hard stuff.  The Confidence Building Process Before youth...
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What type of disruption are you choosing?

Disruption is unavoidable in circumstances that require courage, and encounters with it will either be external or internal.  I recently asked a teenage girl what she wanted the courage to do. “Let go of some old friends,” she said.  When I asked her why she hadn’t been able to do that, she replied, “because I don’t want to come across as mean.”  This answer may seem basic, but it isn’t. What this teenager, and thousands of other youth like her, really means is, I am reluctant to make the healthiest, most honest-to-goodness choices for myself if it means disrupting harmony...
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10 Places and Ways To Go This Summer

Summer is almost here, and several media sources are compiling their lists of top places to visit. I thought it would be fun to compile my own summer GO list for youth.  Ready. Set. GO! Go For It. You won’t know until you try. Go slow. Don’t expect to get where you’re going overnight. Go the distance. Never give up. Go with your gut. Your intuition knows what’s up.   Go beyond your comfort zone. You’ll discover what you’re made of. via GIPHY Go easy on yourself. Mistakes turn into lessons, and lessons fuel growth. Go against the grain. Staying true...
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3 Competencies Youth Need To Act Courageously

Competence is usually related to tasks like dribbling a ball, coding a website or Milly Rockin’ in the shower – not acting courageously. However, if youth want to resist social pressures around them, such as substance usage, bullying and underage drinking, they will need certain competencies. Courage requires competence. Having skill and being able to use it in the face of a challenge is critically important to managing fear and feeling in control. According to research, competence enhances self-motivation and can determine how long a person will persevere. Interestingly, competence is also foundational to confidence. Without skill and ability, youth...
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How Strong Is Your Hook?

About seven family members rushed into my cousin’s dorm room after her graduation ceremony to clear it out for a final university inspection. I assigned myself to taking down inspirational quotes and pictures of pop stars from her walls. My cousin used self-adhesive hooks to help decorate her space, and I was trying my best to take down only the pictures and hooks – not the layers of paint that had accumulated on the walls from every move-out that had ever happened. But, my series of hard, yet careful tugs produced zero progress. The hooks weren’t coming off. What came...
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