How to live with confidence and courage

Republished with permission. View article on Military1.com.

It was that kind of morning. I woke up with pain shooting from my neck up, tipping the scales past simple headache to a full-fledged migraine. It was also try-out day for my son and his new school. He was only four, but they wanted to watch him learn and interact, evaluating him for an unnamed list of personality traits.

I sat in a separate room apart from my wily boy with the other parents, listening to several of the school’s key players speak. By the time I was actually seated, hands clasped, listening to the dean, my headache was replaced with a tired spacey feeling. It was a refreshing change to let the other parents ask questions.

The meeting came to a natural close as the kids came bustling through the door. I thought I’d make a quick exit, bypassing conversation. However, as we made our way toward the exit, I found myself making the acquaintance of someone who was sure we’d already met.

Stop taking life too seriously 

Niceties out of the way, I felt obliged to speak about my husband who was in Pennsylvania delivering a presentation at a conference with more than 10,000 attendees. I’m not sure why I felt compelled to introduce my husband like the Dos Equis man, as “The most interesting man in the world,” but that’s just what flooded out of my mouth. “Yep,” I concluded, “I’m just lucky enough to be married to him.” I actually said that. I was having fun with a situation where in years past, I might naturally be a little uneasy.

The man with whom I had just  shared a flowery, nearly non-human description of my husband happened to be a member of a pretty-well known band. His freshly angled, highlighted hair should have tipped me off. He affably mentioned that he’d be keen to have his wife deliver a similar description of him in his absence.

Seizing the moment

Following the interview and parent informational meeting, my son and I went to a little nearby deli-style restaurant. In true-to-form fashion, my son preplanned his choice – a cheese sandwich. Halfway into the meal, the café filled up and in walked a woman with an amazing scarf. It was the conversation starter as she took a seat at our long table, the last spot in the restaurant.

She was fascinating. Her personality was twice her height. Something compelled me to want to know more. Perhaps it was the momentum from the bold conversation earlier.

The woman asked me how my son lost his tooth. I gave her the toe-biting account that landed him in the emergency room for the second time in one week. I was suddenly thankful that she’d just missed my son accidentally blasting my husband’s favorite metal-band from the family iPad while I was paying the tab for our meal 10 minutes earlier.

“What do you do?” I asked.

“I’m a literary agent,” she replied.

I laughed.

This was probably not the most appropriate response, but I was in need of a literary agent and one just happened to take a seat at my table. The phrase “now or never” flashed through my mind. With all of the internal fortitude I had, I asked her if she might be interested in reading a book proposal I’d been putting together. She agreed, giving me her contact info before standing up to meet her friend, for whom she’d been waiting.

That’s it. Yep, that’s how I did it. I pitched my new book sitting next to my son who was mowing through a cheese sandwich. I managed to work up the courage to ask. Better yet, I dove in head first to my life that day. I showed up, spacey, quirky, and yet fully present.

Have you been nervous to jump into a certain situation? Perhaps it’s a conversation you need to have or something you’ve been putting off because it requires a measure of courage and confidence that you aren’t sure you have yet. I challenge you to do it, anyway. I did. Try showing up to your daily life in an absolutely authentic way – even if you’re a little freaked out. Have fun with it like you’re married to the most interesting person in the world!