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Michael Kithcart: Courage

Mar 03, 2021

Season 2, Episode 9


“Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.” - Rumi

I read this quote every day. 

And some days, it scares me. 

Other days, it excites me. 

But every day, it reminds me that we all have a choice to live a courageous life. 

In this episode of Champions of RISK, I help you identify what courage means to you, point out the types of pain fear generates and walk you through where you can elevate your level of courage. 

Determine if you’re a worrier, a waiter, or a warrior. 

And learn what to do with each.




Hello, I'm Michael Kithcart.

I'm a high performance business coach and entrepreneur who helps move stressed out leaders and high achievers from stuck to unstoppable.

Welcome to the Champions of RISK Podcast, where we examine the many aspects of risks, so we can all face uncertainty with more strength, courage, and humor together.

Yes, I said, courage.

Topic of discussion for today, because we all have the opportunity in our lives to raise our level of courage, no matter what we're doing maybe are the people around us think through the most courageous person in the whole entire planet, deep down inside, there's a piece of you more than likely, that's also saying, I can step it up a little bit, I could be even more courageous, I could be willing to go out a little bit more on that limb, I could really kind of push myself a little bit more, to speak up where I'm not speaking up, we're not completely speaking my mind. I know for myself, I challenge myself in this area all the time.

And I and I work with my clients on elevating their level of courage.

Because maybe, just think about this for a moment.

Where would you say that you're being courageous?

Like, are you being courageous in your professional life, in your business, or maybe it's your family that really motivates you to speak up and do things that are way outside your comfort zone, but it's for their benefit.

So you're willing to do it, chances are, there's a place in your life in some way, shape, or form where you're showing up super strong, and another area where you're maybe not showing up fully as you could so on.

This episode is all about courage.

And I'm going to take you on a journey to actually do some inventory taking here on yourself and see where you are just knocking it out of the park. And where there are some areas of opportunity for you to step into an even more courageous life. Because here is the reality. Only you can give yourself courage.

Now, that's a big responsibility.

And with that, you have to have that you have to be able to really stop down and ask yourself, what are you doing?

To raise that level? Where are you practicing being more courageous, because it's not just like you are or you aren't, we all have it in us, we all exhibit it in some way, shape, or form.

So if you are the only self, you're you're the only person that can give yourself courage. Well, you are the only one who can take inventory.

And actually challenge yourself, I have this quote that's on my board. I look at it every day, to remind me to step it up a little bit.

And to actively choose to be courageous in my life. And the quote is by Rumi, I have lots of Rumi quotes, because I just, they speak to me. But this one in particular I think is appropriate for today.

And it is "Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious."

So you know, there's just something kind of badass about that fat quote that I love it. And it also makes me kind of stop for a moment and go, Oh, yeah, come on game on.

I have to say, and again, I'm examining this through my my own lens, I'm sharing it with you. In case you're just like me, and people tend to make up excuses as to why they aren't being more courageous about why they can't have what they deserve.

Why even the struggles that they're facing aren't of their own making.

And guess what, that is all bullshit.

We have to eliminate excuses, one of the topics of my previous podcast a couple of weeks, weeks ago, and we have to just get real with ourselves about where we are making those excuses.

And the fact that those are excuses is an indicator that we're just not stepping in to our own courage.

Courage is consistent. It is all encompassing.

And it's personal.


It is personal to us.

But I also want to stop down and say what nothing, what courage Isn't, but it's not just what it is because courage really does get associated with vulnerability.

Brene Brown has done a phenomenal job of like educating us, and helping us see that vulnerability is needed in order to have courage. At the same time, courage is even more than just vulnerability, courage, it, we use it all the time to like, propel us forward to take action when we don't know the outcome.

It is what we need in order to speak up and make sure our voices are being heard, or even more importantly, helping voices that aren't being heard, be heard. It takes courage to express ourselves truly and openly and rawly.

It takes courage to ask for help to take an enormous leap to just keep our drive going. So courage is a big piece of us.

But sometimes we just kind of put it in this bucket of either we have it or we don't. And so I want to just first say it's a varying degrees.

And if you want to test that just do a quick evaluation over the last year, the last year, which is then like no other year, right, where was a time when you really went for it, when you kind of held your breath, didn't know what the outcome was going to be, but you did it anyway?

And, where was a moment in time where you're like, I see the opportunity here, I could really go for it. And, you decided not to?

And I invite you to just do that self analysis.

But do it kindly.

Don't, you know, like, do it out of curiosity.

Because it can elevate awareness.

And, you know, anytime we elevate our awareness, it gives us more options, that helps us make different decisions.

So remember that you are the only one that can give yourself courage.

So you're the only one that can increase your level of understanding about about how it shows up for you. And so, just let's have a little bit of fun today, let's go on a little bit of a journey, and analyze what's going on with you, and courage.

And just have an open mind about it.

Because every single one of us has an opportunity to be even more courageous in our lives.

So let's take a little bit of stock about where you are today.

And then I'm going to give you five ways that you can improve your level of courage no matter what state you are in. And again, remember, courage is not all encompassing, right?

Like it's like all or nothing. That's not it. And the likelihood is pretty high that you are being pretty courageous in some areas, and maybe not giving yourself credit for it.

And on the other hand, there are places that when you're being really honest with yourself, you're just not living up to your fullest potential in that area. So that challenge will be there to raise it up a notch.

Let's start with the definition of courage and what courage actually means to you.

Because remember, I said it's personal.

So your definition of what courage is, is important. Stop down here and think what does courage really mean to you?

So if you had to describe it, to your partner, to your children, to your 20 year old version of self, what would you say? When you're describing what courage means to you? What would it mean to be more of your true self to try new things more often?

I'll share with you what courage means to me.

I'm like what's coming to mind at the moment? courage for me, I would say means like a willingness to charge forward even when you don't know the outcome.

And courage means speaking up for what's right regardless of who's in the room. To courage means like to really have your voice be heard and to speak it.

It's about it's so about betting on self, for me, that courage is about that, like, I bet on me. And I think being in a relationship is an enormous act of courage.

I mean, to let someone see you for who you are 24 seven? I gotta say, that's like, that's courage in my book.

So think about what your definition of courage is.

Second thing is, I want to talk about change in terms of courage, because in order to be a courageous person, you have to find a way to get comfortable with change, those who lack courage, struggle with change.

So if that is something if you feel like you really struggle with it, chances are you also struggle with change in your life.

So think about that.

How would you rate yourself?

Like, would you say like, yeah, I'm pretty adaptable. I'm flexible, I go with the flow, I can handle any kind of change?

Or would you say that that is just like, you often find yourself asking, could we just keep things the same for a little while? check in with yourself, and how would you rate, what I want to propose is that sometimes it's not the change itself that we're really struggling with, what we're struggling with is a perceived pain that's going to be associated with that change. So there's a couple, there's three types, not a couple, there are actually three types of pain experiences that oftentimes we try to avoid.

Okay, so the first one is last paid this is if, if you change or you go for it, or you stop doing whatever it is that you're fighting against, that you could actually lose something that's important to you.

So loss pain is like, hey, if I go through this change, I'm going to lose something as a result of it, it might be a pleasurable thing that you don't really want to change, even though you know that it's probably better for you, or it's that you could lose people, like if I change and become this person, the people around me aren't going to want to be hanging out with me anymore. I mean, like, let's just acknowledge it, that is loss pain.

And so therefore, that could prevent us from doing the things that really would be better for us. The other type of pain experiences, process pain, like the mere act of going through change is going to be so hard, it's going to require so much effort that we are not up for the challenge.

Does that sound like you?

I know what it's going to take to get to where I want to go.

And that feels so painful to me that I'm not willing to go through the process.

Now this happens.

I see it a lot when people have already experienced a great amount of success.

And the challenge is get is getting to that next level of success. And it's the concern that it's going to be so hard.

Like, I can barely do what I'm doing right now.

Like I got to this level, but it was through sweat equity, you know. And so I can't I just think that if I were going to become even better at it, it was it would be so much harder.

So that might be what process paint sounds like to you.

And the third one is outcome pain.

So how often does this sound familiar?

Hey, I could go through all that change. And at the end of the day, it's not going to be in any better.

How many of you have thought that about finding your next career opportunity, or starting a business? that it might not be as good as I want, it might not happen as fast as I want it to and therefore it's just not even worth it.

Think about that, because we have to find a way to get comfortable with change in order to be courageous.

So now I have a question for you.

Are you a worrier?

A waiter or warrior?

Ah, yes. So let's check in on these categories. How often do you find yourself saying things like, I'm worried that that's never going to happen?

I'm worried that so and so isn't going to follow through. I'm worried that the money's not going to come in.

I'm worried that my manager is going to fire me. I'm worried that I I'm never going to get fit again. I'm worried I'm never going to get to go to the gym again.


Courage is torn down by recurring daily worry, every time we worry, incessantly unnecessarily, we are just taken a notch off our courage belt.

So just be curious about this.

And notice how often are you actually saying the word like isn't in your vernacular, this is going to be your reticular activator kicking in here.

Now all of a sudden, you'll start noticing how many times you actually use the word worry in a day, or a week or an hour. And how many people around you are using the word, I'm worried about this, I'm worried about that.

I'm worried it won't turn out, I'm worried they won't like it. All those things stack up and it keeps you trapped, it like keeps you stagnant.

And I know that you do not want to be stagnant.

And guess what the things that you worry about are oftentimes either like, they're never even going to happen, like the likelihood of it is so low.

So just think about that you're wasting all this energy on something that's probably never even gonna happen.

The other thing, pay attention to this, are you worrying about things that are completely out of your control, worrying about what somebody else is going to do or say, is a clear indicator that you are worrying about something that you have absolutely no control over?

So if you have absolutely no control over it, why waste the energy, put it towards something that you can control, which is your thoughts, by the way, and you can turn that worry into, here's what I'm going to do about it, or you just change what you're thinking about completely.

So if you find like your head nodding a lot through that, and you are a worrier, okay, you are. Now start noticing it and start shifting, ask yourself, Is that something I should be spending time on or not? Let it go move on.

Next thing, okay?

If you're not to worry, or maybe you're a waiter, and I don't mean by profession, I mean, like, okay, I just kind of, you know, I want to go learn this, and then I will start doing that. I just need this information from that other person, or now, it's just really not the time, you know, I want to get more financial resources around it, or I'm going to create a strategic plan, I need a plan, I need a plan. And once I have a plan, then I'm going to get started.

So for all of you strategic thinkers out there, like if you're noticing that it's like I'm I'm being strategic about this, I'm kind of good as kind of see how this plays out. I'm going to wait it out yet, guess what, you're you're being a waiter.

Waiter mentality also keeps us stuck.

So for all those high performers that think they're they're being strategic out there, shift, to reasons why you can actually act now, the likelihood that the answers that you're waiting for, right to get to before you're going to take action are only going to come to you by taking action. So bust through the waiter mentality.

So we have worrier, waiter, and then warrior, okay, warriors, I got this.

I know, I will figure it out. I am willing to take the risk. Let's go, Game on. And I want to know, when was the last time that you felt like a warrior? Was it an hour ago? A week ago, 18 months ago?

Come on.

We need more warriors in the world.

We need more people like you who have a willingness to get to a new level of what courage actually means and that you're acting in a courageous way, with more frequency.

So the reality is that on any given day, we can actually be a warrior, a waiter and a warrior throughout the course of the day.

So just like kind of take stock, which one would you say is showing up more frequently? And how might you replace that so that you're less of a warrior and a waiter and more of a warrior?

If you're feeling stuck, like I'm not sure how to do that. I am now going to share with you five ways to improve the level of courage in your life.

No matter where you are today.

No matter if you're feeling like you're knocking it out of the park or you're just kind of whipping it out.

These are ways that you can start taking action today to build a more courageous life. You want to know the first one is start by saying no, say no more often.

The number one fail of being courageous is an inability To say no to others, to say no to the wrong opportunities to continue to let people treat you poorly, to succumb to the doubts in the fears.

So we want to say no, no, no, no, no. If you have energy suckers in your life, start saying no to them, cancel them out. If you are finding that you are doing work consistently, day in and day out, that is just destroying your soul does not bring you an ounce of joy.

Start saying no to it.

If it is the job that you currently have, start looking for another one.

If there's a lot of that's what you're doing.

And you are a business owner, start finding other people to do that stuff that just drains your energy, because guess what, there are actually people out there that like to do the thing that you are detesting.

So start saying no, it's a really important trait because it gives you the space and the energy to then be able to say to the Yes, yes, say yes to the things that actually are what you want to focus on, that actually bring you joy, that actually can help you reach your goals.

If you need to do like a clean slate, you could just like start saying no to everything, clear off your calendar, and then slowly add back things in with a more critical lens of like is that something that I really want to be doing is that really something that I want to be spending my time on? The saying no will will help you tremendously.

The second one is ask more for what you want. And for support.

One of the number one things that I hear from clients is I have a hard time asking for help. I work with super achievers like these are people just like you that like can get a lot of shit done.

They're building empires, they are leading teams. And yet, they have a hard time asking for support.

They love to be helpful to others. Some people have built businesses all around helping others but then they can't ask for help themselves.

And that is going to get you it's going to keep you stuck, it's going to prevent you from having the resources, the internal resources to really live the life that you want. So most people complain and then hope that they get what they want. And that's not going to happen.

So to be more courageous, you have to ask for what you want, and for the support that you need. So express it explicitly express it consistently.

Be clear, ask for feedback. And it's what I'm asking for actually clear.

And if you are in a position where you can ask for support, if you have team members around you, if you have a business, ask around who can get you the help that you need, so that you can actually accelerate your goal so you can accelerate the vision that you are creating.

That's what asking for help and support looks like.

But you have to be clear, people are not mind readers. It'd be so cool if they were but we aren't as human creatures. We are not mind reader's.

So it is our responsibility to be very specific and explicit in what it is that we need.

And we want, okay, and I know me saying that, and you hearing that for some of you out there. That actually sounds scary. I get it, do it anyway. Okay. Number three, where you can improve your level of courage, set bigger goals. If you don't have a big goal that is low courage. A big goal.

If you're Jim Collins, right, the big hairy audacious goal, the BHAG, I just want to say like if you are comfortable with where you're going, if you're comfortable with the goals that you have in front of you, it's time to raise it up a notch.

To get rid of that stretch goal, that stretch goal just make it your goal, Period. End of sentence. If you're just being comfortable.

You are not amplifying your level of courage.

So think about it.

What bigger goals could you set? Maybe you have big ones in a couple of areas of your life, but you have zero goals in other areas of your life or they're so low, just where might you up 1%, is it around your fitness, your relationships, your business, your career, the language that you wanted to learn the trip that you wanted to take?

Like, let's just put it out there because it takes courage to think big and why wouldn't we just want to do more of the impossible. I mean, doesn't that sound like fun?

The fourth one is to evaluate yourself more.

So we've been evaluating ourselves throughout this podcast, if you've been following through and answering the questions, honestly, truthfully, without judgment throughout this episode, but just think about how you are doing in all areas of your life, as I said at the beginning, do it with the lens of curiosity.

And so many people want to avoid ever evaluating themselves, they'll distract themselves anything not to really get real about what's going on how they're behaving, what are the thoughts that are going through their head, asking for feedback?

Now, I'm not saying all that's easy, but are we here to just have life be easy?

I would challenge that by being more courageous, it actually makes everything else easier. But you know, that's probably a whole other episode. It does take real courage to get honest with ourselves to be an observer of our lives.

So and this is not an to do it without shame.

Okay, this is from uh, huh, I am observing this, where do I need to make some changes in my life, to get closer to the person that I want to be and to do the things that I want to do?

It's without hate, there's no self hate here, there's no blaming others, set it as a challenge for yourself be a little more observant, maybe evaluate yourself on a more ongoing basis. And the fifth one is challenge yourself to engage versus disengage.

How many times have you had the opportunity to step up and fully engage with what's going on or what's being said in your environment, And you've chosen the option to disengage? Because really, how often is that happening?

Sometimes we want to run away from conflict, we want to run away from the things that are uncomfortable to us. And so, again, when are you running away from conflict?

What are you avoiding courage is ultimately engagement of the moment versus avoidance. So engaging with the moments that you're currently in, do that more often, instead of disengaging?

Another way to look at this is like, what are you allowing?

Where are you standing aside when you know that it's time to speak up?

Or step up? It takes a lot of courage to express what's right, what you believe in, what you're not going to take anymore. And so the challenge is to engage more disengaged less in any aspect of your life.

Okay, so those are the five.

These are five ways that can improve your level of courage in your life, no matter where you are, and that's say no, ask for what you want, set bigger goals, evaluate yourself consistently with curiosity, and challenge yourself to engage more and disengage less.

I would love to hear from you.

Tell me how you're going to add a level of courage to your life. Let me know, send me an email, put a note in the comment section, I look forward to celebrating with you the level of courage that you have added in your life.

Until then, I'll catch you on the next episode of Champions of RISK. And guess what, I appreciate you listening to this episode and any of the episodes of the Champions of RISK podcast.

If you're like most people you want this year to be better than last year.

You have some big things on your to do list, but you're finding it hard to move forward.

Maybe you're not finding time in the day to work on your business, or find your next career move. Maybe you say you're committed to doing things for you, but you're letting other things take priority.

Or maybe you have a big goal that you want to make happen, but you're finding it hard to take consistent steps forward.

Maybe you need more courage.

Hey, any of those sound like you then check out Champion You Group Coaching each month.

Other high achievers just like you meet virtually to learn new, necessary ways to break down current barriers and put action and momentum behind the goals.

Members gain clarity and focus.

They raise their level of energy and up their game and courage and influence. Members walk away each month with specific action steps they determine they are putting in place to reach their goals.

They have expanded options and resources that they gathered from spending time learning from each other. discover for yourself how Champion You Group Coaching can support you in achieving your own version of an unstoppable 2021.

Click on the link in the show notes or go to for more information and sign up.


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