Courage Means Making Uncomfortable Choices

I absolutely hate the term – “It is what it is”. We have the power to sustain things that are superior to us, but to change it and make it better takes a lot of work. Unfortunately, people are not willing to take action when it is needed. To me, this is a form of apathy; an unwillingness to evoke change; and a way of saying -It’s not of interest to me.

Really? – I don’t think so.  Instead of seeing the lack in a situation, seek out the opportunities. We should always use our own wisdom and knowledge to identify and change the things we can, and re-frame what we can’t.

No matter how big or small the problem, if it goes unattended it acts as a crippling influence and impedes us from moving ahead. We need business leaders that are strong and unafraid to make the big call. Our actions truly do speak louder than words.

Taking action isn’t easy, but I believe that anyone in a leadership position should be willing to make the tough calls. As strong leaders we must recognize all problems, no matter how difficult, as opportunities for growth. Courage means making uncomfortable choices. We must adopt the attitude that every problem, properly perceived, is an opportunity.

Nothing happens unless with do something about it. We should at least make an attempt to do whatever we can. A difficult decision won’t always feel good in the moment, but if you’re connected with your principles then you’ll know the right course of action.

When we don’t want to put forth any effort to make a change, we say….”It is what it is.” This accomplishes nothing.  To me, the words just express the fact that whatever it is that you are dealing with has rendered you helpless.

Unfortunately, there are people who are willing to let situations continue simply because it would be too much effort to work towards a solution. The best way to approach a difficult situation is to approach it from as many perspectives as possible and then choose a course of action that seems reasonable and balanced. Even if your situation seems limited, try to make a list of alternatives to consider.

I certainly understand that we can’t change everything; some things are not in our control. But what is irritating is that some people avoid trying and just say “it is what it is” without doing anything about it.

I personally believe this is a form of laziness. That kind of thinking is apathy at work, and it will get you nowhere. Instead of dwelling on what you can’t control, get creative and find a solution.  Most things aren’t out of our hands but we are too lazy to deal with it.

Taking action can be fearful when you don’t know what the “other side” of taking the action will bring. Sometimes that fear stops us from moving forward and we try to avoid “failing” at something, therefore taking no action. The choice is to do nothing or to have the courage to change the things we can.

 “Do the thing you are afraid to do and the death of fear is certain”. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

We use some belief structures to hold us back from taking responsibility and from taking action, but these beliefs are based on fear and the only way to overcome them is to think clearly and take courageous action.

Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness. Each experience of turning fear into action gives us an opportunity to show ourselves that we can handle a situation. Courage is making choices to do what you are afraid to do. Our ability to muster the courage to move beyond our fears is the hallmark of an effective leader.

Understand the problems that you face by analyzing the facts.  Thoroughly consider alternative solutions, then pick a path, develop a plan, and execute with courage and discipline. There’s always a solution; it’s just a matter of some creative deduction. Embrace your decision to take action, in the actions comes the success.

Jamie Wood, Avatel EVP


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