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Overcoming Life’s Hurdles With Inner-Courage

By Steve Beseke, senior vice president at think2perform –

Last week, I talked about the inner-courage to stand up to bullying or manipulation in our working or personal worlds. But what does being courageous mean to you?

There are so many resilient aspects to think about as we navigate through the swirling currents of our lives and careers. Some of these can be potential sandbars to overcome like courage, self-confidence, resentment and regret, peace of mind, expressing your love and achievable happiness.
A recent seminar I attended helped me think how career and life resiliency plays into each one. And how all of them resiliently affect our lives both positively and not.

Over the next number of months, I will be talking about each from the perspective of my “Power of Resilience” e-book series – at - that will help you be a more loving person…a person that likes yourself…a person that does not let the inevitable anxieties of life get in the way.

Career and life resilience provides all of us an opportunity to go beyond our limits. Using your resilience effectively and fully offers a practical framework for producing ways to swerve around life and career sandbars—a series of steps by which one builds a framework in which breakthroughs become possible and achievable. By breakthroughs, it is meant achievements that are extraordinary, outside the limits of what’s already predictable, attainable or known.

I start with a bit of courage…are you courageous?

Sometimes you have to take a calculated chance or two in your life and career offering a new/different way to use your unique and tremendous talents. The key for me has been to not always settle for what’s easy but open a little-used door or two to find what my potential could really be.

What about you? How have you tried to unlock your skiff’s rusty-hinged door on or two to find your true life gifts? Are you adjusting to those ever-changing currents better?
When I was laid off a couple years back and not focusing well on which way to turn, my mental resilience and confidence were at a challenging curve.

I was let go from a company imploding from the economic crisis, but which said I was “essential” and a “rock star.” I had a different type of easy courage then and was working on all cylinders at a corporate communications executive position. It allowed me to use my writing, speaking and interpersonal skills to truly make a difference for employees.

So what did I do wrong? Well, absolutely nothing! (The company eventually laid off about 90 percent of employees nationwide.) I was the same person with the same great skills…
But my mind – at least for a moment or two – could not figure this out and I became timid. Whether in your personal or work life, I know you’ve been down that road once or twice.
After some intense personal reflection, I thought of variety directions to go.

I could continue to feel sorry for myself and spin like a top not knowing what way to turn. I could continue to exclusively seek jobs in my chosen communications field that have proven to be very successful for me in the past. Or, I could look at my personal brand very hard and have a “heart to heart” with myself about what I wanted to passionately do for the rest of my life/career.

That’s when I, a bit courageously, decided to develop a personal business plan to use my range of talents in a more unique way and not just settle for the jobs I’ve had in the past. Consequently, I had the gumption to very humbly develop my own very successful worldwide resilient speaking, writing and consulting business.

My web site – – has surpassed 5 million viewers in a little more than 5 years. I am amazed, lucky and so gratified. I also am part of a team of worldwide professionals on international resiliency programming, and leadership excellence and behavioral advice training.

The most important point: If you are in a similar career or life-changing situation, I suggest not always settling for what comes up or what you know you can do. Find a way to be courageous to use your unique abilities to give you the opportunity to give you what you want.

You might say: “Steve, that’s easy for you to say because you perfectly fit into your resiliency world. You are naturally resilient because of your successfully adapting to your lifelong physical disability (Cerebral Palsy), and your noted speaking and writing talents.” This, of course has helped…

To be honest, though, I am no different from you. In fact, you probably have much more talent, resiliency and potential than me. I just have taken a courageous stand to not settle, have understood my “chance,” and formulated and acted on a plan to make it a success.

You can, too!

The word “settle” is not one of my favorite words when it comes to my career or life – I hope it is the same way with you. As we successfully navigate through this challenging economy, many friends of mine have had to settle for a new job they may not have necessarily taken if times were better. Other friends have had to settle for a deteriorating work situation with cuts at their company by as much as 75 percent.

Don’t get me wrong: Folks need to do whatever it takes to stop or avoid collecting unemployment checks. But settling can open up an entirely different can of worms when it comes to your confidence, belief in yourself and your passion for the future.

The lesson I suggest you ponder is what I’ve learned: Please don’t think you don’t have options – your skills and strengths have made you very successful so far. Find a way to take advantage of your situation whether you are employed or still looking for your next great work adventure. Take that courageous chance.

Too often in the past I’ve sold myself short and taken what I could get. I am 51 now, and I know it is time for me to re-look at what’s best for me.
What is truly best for you?

There’s no way you want to stay or accept a dead-end job, and spend the next few years lamenting how your skills are not being utilized to the fullest. As my resiliency example shows, you need to stick to your strengths, carve out your unique role and make a difference for the most important and terrific person in your life – You!

This courageous chance and belief has given me new life, direction and confidence over the last year or so.

I know you can have the same success. Please just believe that you are so much more special than you always think - that is, as long as you BELIEVE!!! Then, you won’t have to settle for a life and career controlled by other folks’ agendas.

Taking a hold of your life and not having your swift life currents also will have an amazing consequence. Folks at work and in your personal life will see your confidence as never before. And, guess what? You’ll start seeing yourself in the same light. Wow! See what courage and not settling can do for you…

I ask again: Are you taking a courageous chance or two in your life now to use your unique and tremendous talents? Unlock your tremendous potential and confidently move through those cascading rapids that you now can courageously control.

We, at Think2Perform -, talk about courage in our training modules on leadership excellence, behavioral advice, emotional competency and resilience. Take a look at our web site for ways you, your company or your child’ school can benefit from our customized training approach.

Contact me at or call 651-341-9826 for more detailed information.

You also can purchase my resiliency e-books on courage and so many other resiliency topics. Visit

I hope you are enjoying life today!

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