The Lion, The Wizard and The Goody Two Shoes

When you were a child did you have a favourite movie? One that would transport you to another world where you could become completely lost and absorbed into the sounds, colours and emotions of the characters.

One of my favourites was The Wizard of Oz, and my favourite character was the Lion. Dorothy was always too much of a “goody two houston astros polo ” for my liking. With her clothes all clean and neat and always doing the “right thing” and then there’s that too-cute dog… But that’s another story.

The reason I liked the Lion so much was because although he claimed to have no courage, he did the bravest things. Imagine setting off on a journey with a bunch of strangers you’ve only just met, one of them a self confessed psychopath (the Tin man with no heart) to go to a place you’re not sure even exists, let alone how to get there! That’s a pretty brave thing in my book.

I also loved what a dreamer he was. Do you remember when you were a child having amazing fantasies. How real they seemed. But like most people I’m sure you found “reality” creeping in to chip away at them bit by bit.

The bravest thing about the Lion was that despite his “lack of courage” he relentlessly and bravely followed his dream of becoming brave. He believed with absolute certainty that he COULD become something that he wasn’t yet.

Well it’s nearly February and I’m wondering how brave you are feeling about those goals you set in January. How bravely are you holding on to YOUR dreams? Are you letting that pesky thing that others call “reality” challenge your own resolve and beliefs?

Here are a couple of little tricks I do when I need to draw up that extra bit of bravery, resolve and belief.

List all the things that I have done that scared me $%!*=$$ at the time.

Moved away from my family in Australia to the other side of the world aged 15

Escaped from my abuser aged 20

Got an engineering degree

My PhD viva with the chief technical director from Rover and Pro VC of Birmingham University

Cycled across Spain, alone

Cycled across France alone

Started my business instead of getting another job when I was made redundant. I had no clue if it would work, and I had a family to support

Signing up for a coaching programme on a credit card, not knowing how I would pay it off

Ignored the “recession” and decided that this would increase sales (and it did)

When you’ve made your list of brave things you have done, spend a few moments going back to how you felt back then. Maybe you were both a little bit scared, but also very brave. As you think of that past version of you send some of the courage that you have now BACK in time to you in the past. Now that you know you did the right thing send back the certainty that it’s the right thing to do?

And the next time you’re feeling less than completely brave, remember the lion who was brave enough to go in search of courage, and imagine what a future you who had succeeded in facing the challenge might want you to know.

Be brave.

write by Athena Nguyen