An Alternative To Courage

An Alternative To Courage

Dear Friends, 

You may have heard one of many quotes around the idea of: "Courage isn't the absence of fear, it's about doing something despite the fear".

Those words have certainly inspired me in moments where I had to take a sudden leap -speak out in a crowd, hop into a rental land rover, get on the rollercoaster at the amusement park, etc. In those cases, I've "summoned my courage", taken a breath and plunged!

That said, I've found the quotes to be less useful when it comes to my daily work, and the uneasiness that comes with the "Should I, or shouldn't I...?" in the face of change. Of course, some of that may be rooted in fear (fear of rejection, of being wrong, of losing face...) Some of it may be linked to discomfort (shit, do I have to learn something new... again?!!!) But what if there were something else at play?!...

In my case, I can't seem to move forward as long as I feel I'm missing something. It may feel somewhat like fear (manifestations of perfectionism and procrastination). The thing is, I've come to realize that leaving an idea, a project or plan to simmer is more effective than trying to force it through. Walking away from a choice, taking a break... these can be beneficial so that there's space to expand. I believe that when the timing is right, the answers come easily. And most of all, I can feel the excitement rise as ideas crystallize! When I feel really bubbly and almost high about something, in the "flow", things move quickly and organically.

I'll describe below how this came to play with the MoneyMaker course (that I've been alluding to for a few months now!) But for you, what might be helpful in this idea?



Well, first off, let's acknowledge that both fear and unease are part of an artist's life and process. It can be useful to identify which of the two you're experiencing.

If it's fear, in front of an immediate situation - like making a call, sharing a new song, walking on stage - then it's time to "grab your courage with two hands" (sounds better in the French expression "prendre son courage à deux mains", giving it your all!)

If it's unease, you might want to take a step back from the situation (an upcoming show, the choice of livestreaming, revamping a website, a new career option...)
You might ask:

  • What would need to happen for me to get really excited about this?
    Discomfort shows us where our boundaries lie.
  • What are the boundaries that I'm hitting with this?
  • Does this feed my 'What for?', my impact statement and goal? Is it consistent with my end game?
  • Does it feed my 3-year goals?
  • Does it build on my current strengths?

If the answers to those are mostly positive, then it means that you might be struggling with the "how", that is to say, the implementation of the choice.
So, stepping away and giving it a rest might be the best choice. It's kind of like planting a seed. You have to trust that it'll shoot through the ground when it's ready! This leaves you free to focus your attention on other activities. And when you feel that "aha!" moment, you'll be ready to shape it into action. :-)

We're programmed to think that projects fall into a linear, logical time frame. Truth is that the best ones are more often cyclical. An old idea pops up in a new, perfectly suitable format when it's ready! Things will happen!

As we continue this May of bizarre transition with vaccinations and re-openings on the horizon, let's continue to live in the moment, and embrace new ideas as invitations! Is there anything really risky in trying? We've just gone through 14 months of a pandemic (and it's still not quite done...) I'd say that the worst risk happened, and here we are. We got through it. We're due for change - with growth and fun! I'm going to say I'm ready for it... what about you?!

xo Nat

Nathalie Kleinschmit

Article by Nathalie Kleinschmit

Published 17 May 2021