Bigger Than Life Commitment

imagesMost of you know I’m from Texas.  Last night, Wendy Davis, a sister Texan and Modern Goddess demonstrated a particular brand of courage and bigger than life commitment.  She successfully filibustered the Texas senate for THIRTEEN HOURS to prevent a sure-thing disastrous vote on the draconian bill that would have closed 37 of 42 women’s clinics and further eroded Roe v Wade in Texas.

During the filibuster, she could not take a sip of water, sit down, go to the bathroom or stop speaking.

To say she met with resistance is the year’s understatement.  Rick Perry, the state’s maniacal governor has already called another special session.  He just can’t stand her commitment and that of all the filibuster supporters.    

Commitments are like that, aren’t they?  Sometimes they inspire others to join us, and other times they provoke bad losers or naysayers to counter our good.  (Yes, I can see that those with differing opinions from mine on this topic could say the same thing.)

Wendy has much to teach us.

1.    Sometimes, Bigger-Than-Life Commitment brings discomfort. 

Wendy did not let what had to be immense physical discomfort dissuade her from her commitment.  She prepped to be physically uncomfortable.  She wore pink tennis shoes with her suit.  She wore a back brace.      

Confession – my 2013 commitment makes me uncomfortable at times.  “2013 is the Year of Expansion!”  When I first said it, it sounded so juicy and fun!  And, it has been. 

It has also been wildly challenging as I stretch myself into uncomfortable new directions, like launching my first web-based coaching program on July 29.  (Cue the studio audience applause and cheers…) 

Though completely excited by this stretch, I am so far out of my comfort zone I shut down at times.  My prep for feeling uncomfortable is talking with my coach, and lacing up my own pink and grey running shoes.  Now, when I think of Wendy talking, standing and not peeing for thirteen very long hours, I will keep stretching.

What bigger than life commitment or stretch have you made that feels uncomfortable?  What preparation steps can you take to pre-empt some of that discomfort?  What will keep you going?

2.    Leadership is not about being liked.

As much as the women’s community supporters have rallied around Wendy and lauded her praises yesterday and today … her office was firebombed last year, she’s been called every name in the book by double-talking politicians and during last night’s filibuster she was subjected to all manner of slurs in the blog-sphere as well as on the Senate floor.

She is more committed to her purpose and vision for the women in Texas than she is worried about being liked.  Or even re-elected if you read some of the commentary today.

I notice what gets in the way of my bigger than life commitments is not so much being liked as making sure I’m being of service.  I can talk myself out of what I know if my Saboteur hints what I’m offering isn’t really of service. 

The desire to be liked or accepted is powerful for all of us … how does it stop you from being true to your purpose, vision or heart-commitments?  If not, what are your stops?  Discover some now so when you begin something new, you won’t stop before you start. 

3.    There is always a risk of failure. 

I won’t pretend to know what Wendy Davis was thinking as she put herself on the line.  But for me, the higher the stakes, the bigger the risk feels. 

When you put a ton of your own skin into something – a project, event, new program, or creative endeavor – the risk rises exponentially.  Beyond the “what if I fail” saboteurs there is always a bigger demon.  Mine goes something like this:  “What if this is the only thing I will ever do/am meant to do …and it fails?”

I can easily forget how many other projects, programs, challenges and creations I’ve brought to successful completion if I concentrate on one that failed.

What have you already accomplished in spite of a very real risk of failure?  Heck, what have you already failed at, and lived through anyway?

What Now?

Who will pick up Wendy’s needle and thread?  I sense many will.  Big commitment opens the door for others to walk through, even in the face of opposition.   

When you reach a speed bump in your path, what will you do?  What will you stay committed to?  What discomfort are you willing to move beyond?  

If Wendy Davis can stand up without leaning on a podium, not sip water or pee for thirteen hours, I know you can move through whatever discomfort rises up about YOUR bigger than life commitments.

Please share  your Modern Goddess she-roic bigger than life commitments.   I believe there is power in voicing our shero side! 

Much love,

Cat

 

Comments

  1. Very well thought out article….I love it! Thank you!

    I live in Texas, and worked on Wendy’s campaign in 2010…we are VERY proud of her in Tarrant County (Fort Worth area).

    One of the few SANE voices in the Texas Legislature.

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