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Susan Ann Darley
Susan Ann Darley : Courage and Vision

The Courage to Live Your Vision

By Susan Ann Darley

"Courage is not the absence of fear rather the total presence of fear and the courage to face it." — Author Unknown

Stephen Spielberg was once asked in an interview what God would say to him when he arrived at the pearly gates. He said he believed God would say, "thank you."

An answer free of doubt, guilt or remorse. A confident yet humble satisfaction that he is doing what he came here to do. He is living his vision. Are you?

Yes, it's true that from the time Spielberg was a small boy he held a movie camera in his hand and had a mother who encouraged his creativity. Not everyone is so lucky. But do you think it's been an easy path for him? I wonder how it felt to be shunned by his peers and the movie industry for years. I wonder how many doubts and fears he has wrestled with while tackling difficult and sensitive subjects. I wonder how much he likes public appearances that come with marketing a major theater release.

Have you ever walked away from a project or shut the door on an opportunity because it got tough? My dear friend Rebecca Ford often reminds me, "This ain't for sissies."

In my "The Art of Becoming Visible" workshops, I give participants a set of words to stick in their back pockets to pull out when they are faltering: Purpose, Action, Tenacity, Income, Energy, Network, Clarity, Empower. The letters form the acronym Patience, which is a mandatory requirement for achieving long-term goals.

Life can feel like an endurance test sometimes especially when projects fail, people disappoint and weariness overtakes. But that is exactly the time when courage is needed.

In every challenge of your life learn to look beyond disturbances, through problems and out to the farthest vision you can imagine. Hold on to that vision no matter what. Next take steps in accord with it. This will allow your current circumstances to begin fall into line with your vision.

It takes courage to practice the above discipline. You will have to get out from the influence of others, stop people pleasing, and hold a consistent picture of your vision under all circumstances.

Set clear goals toward achieving your vision. These will serve as your roadmap into the future. And when your charted course feels like it has too many steep hills and hairpin turns and you can't see around the corner — you must continue to have courage.

And when you ask, "How will this happen?" instead ask, "Why am I doing this?" With your answer perhaps you will find renewed courage and the willingness to continue with the hopes of hearing a simple "thank you" at the end. •

© 2007 Susan Ann Darley. All rights reserved.

Susan Ann DarleySusan Ann Darley is a coach, author and workshop leader who works with people from all professions to increase their personal awareness and enhance their creativity. More »

4/25/07