Being Cowardly Most of the Time Can Yield Big Rewards
How important is courage in relationship marketing? More—or possibly less—than you might think.
In Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, the play’s hero proclaims that “A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.” Darren Hardy, a popular motivational speaker, throws a new spin on Caesar’s proclamation, stating that “Courage is over rated. At least it’s over estimated.” Hardy’s point is that we can be a coward most of the time (he says 99.9.53000% of the time, to be exact), and that we only need to be brave in 20-second increments every now and again.
When to Be Brave
Hardy’s got a point, and as he explains it,
you only need to be courageous when
- you pick up the phone to call that “big kahuna” prospect.
- you see your dream client enter the networking meeting.
- you walk up to a circle of strangers and introduce yourself.
- you volunteer to come up on stage.
- you contemplate jumping into the icy cold water.
- you are arguing with your spouse and choose to relent.
- you are slighted and decide to let it go and forgive.
- you know you need to have a tough conversation with a friend.
- you know it’s time to let someone go.
- you need to say “no” even though it will make you unpopular.
- you ready yourself to jump out of the plane.
20 Seconds of Courage Three Times Per Day
Of course, there are thousands of other examples of when bravery might come in handy, but Hardy’s point is well taken. He points to skydiving as an example of a common fear, but points out that studies suggest that, for most people, fear dissipates within a few seconds after the jump. So what do we do when we encounter something that scares the daylights out of us? According to Hardy,
You shut off your brain, close your eyes, hold your breath (if you need to) and do what every corpuscle of your body insists you don’t—RUN RIGHT AT IT! You’ll break through the wall of fear in less than 20 seconds.
Hardy summarizes by posing a question: What would happen if you did something you feared three times each day? He points to multiplied success, a better lifestyle, and more prominence, but he’s also quick to add that we still get to be cowardly more than 99% of the time.