Although I’m not a whisky drinker, for some years I have adopted for my own inspiration the slogan from the Johnnie Walker Advertising campaign that encourages me to just Keep Walking! It’s my habit to look for quotes and personal motivating slogans to use as personal prompts to help me to stay focused on implementing my ideas. Thanks to Nike— I ‘Just Do It’! Thanks to the Olympic high-jump coach, I ’Throw my heart over the bar and the rest will follow’. Thanks to my yoga teacher, I ‘Go there and make that effort’.

Why do I need all of this encouragement? Yes—like most, I have underlying fears. Some of the time I am really scared about what I set out to do—it feels like I am journeying through uncharted seas not really knowing what might happen. But, courage means going out into the unknown in spite of all the fears. Let’s not confuse courage with fearlessness. Fearlessness happens if you go on being courageous and more courageous. So I collect and use my prompts to encourage myself to implement my plans and take my risks. I stay motivated by clarifying my objectives and purpose. I keep walking.

In Count Your Blessings, Dr. John F Demartini suggests that we should learn to love our fears. He says, ’anything that we don’t love runs us and inhibits our inspired actions with fear.’ ‘Our limitations’, he continues, ‘represent all the aspects of ourselves and others that we haven’t learned to love and appreciate yet.’ So each time we take a look at a fear, a limit or a block, we give ourselves the opportunity to love and to reach a higher level of awareness.’ This, as always, requires introspection. The good news, Deepak Chopra proffers, is that just the act of looking at and shedding light on our fears is in itself curative.

As a coach, a leader, an entrepreneur, I believe that part of my social responsibility is to be a model for others. I must model generosity and prosperity on all levels. I must not be wishy-washy about money, about compassion, about success, about sharing information, about taking risks and about walking ahead into the unknown.  Courage must become my middle name.

Here’s another of my prompts—an extract from Nelson Mandela’s Inaugural speech:

‘We ask ourselves;  Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.”


ImageMichelle Clarke is an ICF Credentialed Executive Coach based in Cape Town. She works locally and internationally with Leaders, Executives and Executive Coaches, helping them to navigate the complexity of 21st century leadership.  To learn more about her work please visit her website, and be sure also to subscribe to this blog for future updates.  If you enjoy Facebook, please join Michelle’s Business Page

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