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Twenty Seconds of Insane Courage


Have you ever considered that sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage? Just twenty seconds and you could change your life. Sometimes we are so bad about looking at a situation and viewing it in the context of the next twenty years but no one can see that far so why do we let that frighten us?

I was out to dinner with some girlfriends the other night and we were talking about how we tend to self sabotage when it comes to dating because we worry too much about the far future when we haven’t even conquered the next five minutes. One friend mentioned how she’ll see a good looking man in a store she’d like to talk to but then her mind races to how she won’t have much to say on a first date and if he ever saw her naked she has wobbly bits and he probably would be more interested in someone else anyways so why try to start something. Like why do we jump so far ahead in fear? What if you threw fear out the window for twenty seconds and just said hello? Who knows maybe he was trying to get the courage up to speak to you and now you’ve set the ball rolling?

I know another woman who was TERRIFIED to attend a workout class because the thought of walking in that door to face the unknown made her want to vomit. She imagined a room full of Jane Fondas that would all be staring at her and judging her inability to do whatever torturous activity was on that day’s menu. She had friends who assured her that she was more than capable and she spent years trying to convince herself to just lace up her Nikes and turn the door knob but she just couldn’t seem to do it. However, one day something clicked and she had her twenty seconds which led to life change...physically, mentally and emotionally! Now she is a regular in my class and she wouldn’t want it any other way.

I also remember my freshman year in college trying so desperately to convince my roommate to go with me to the Greek RUSH informational meeting. You know how it is being a freshman who is so unsure of everything. It felt safer to travel with a partner but this was so not her thing so she flat out turned me down but I so much wanted to be a part of one of these sororities that I mustered all my courage to walk across campus and into the coffee house though if I’m honest I nearly turned back twenty times in that three minute walk. It was the first week of school and I knew no one on campus except my roommate so I knew I was walking into the unknown but I also knew that if I didn’t do it then I’d never do it. Boy am I glad I did because it changed my life!

It’s incredible to think how twenty seconds can change your life but it some ways it’s like pulling off a bandaid. The anticipation and worry is 9,000 times worse than the actual event and once you are over that hump then it’s back to smooth sailing and you’ll probably wish you had done it earlier. Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t think you should always just throw caution to the wind and try something crazy. There is a time and place for thinking about what the future holds and carefully considering the consequences of your actions but for most of us we are great at thinking and overthinking. It’s those small moments of stepping out in faith that we need to conquer!

So what do you need to do with your twenty seconds of insane courage? Bring that proposal before your boss? Try out that new class? Say hello to that man? Apply for that exciting position? Tryout for that team? Walk across that foyer? Start that program? Send that friend request? Whatever it is, it might be worth taking the risk...after all, you’re only risking it for twenty seconds…And you know, I think I know just what I need to do! Wish me luck!

Side note: Try to extend grace when someone struggles with confidence in an area that might not be a big deal to you. It’s easy to say what you would do in someone else’s situation but they may feel that your fears wouldn’t be a big deal either. I know personally that walking up and starting a conversation with someone would cause me major anxieties yet standing on a stage in front of 800 teenagers is no biggie. We all view the world differently and need grace, encouragement and friendship to step out of our comfort zones.

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