Courage and Confidence to Do What it Takes

Part 2 of a 2 Part Series on Clarity + Courage

Once you’ve gained some clarity about who you are, how you want to live your life, and what you want to have, you need to take action to make it all happen. More often than not, this action will require you to tap into your courage. Think you don’t have courage? Think again – it’s in there, deep inside of you!

courageMaking all the amazing shizzle you want happen and taking the risks to manifest your dreams takes a fierce kind of devotion. The kind you need before confidence ever shows up. It takes courage (tweetable!)

What is the difference between confidence and courage? I like to describe it as confidence is what you have when you feel or believe that things will turn out alright, or at least that you’ll be ok with the outcome.

Courage, on the other hand, is what you need when you’re going to do something even though you’re scared – or at least can’t guarantee things will turn out in your favor.

Courage means that even if you’re scared, you do it anyway.

People often ask me what is the most courageous thing I’ve ever done. They usually ask me this knowing that I was an international climbing guide (and one of the few women in that profession, to boot!), working in the Himalayas and leading expeditions in places like Nepal and Alaska.

Or maybe, if they know me a little better, they think it was when I survived cancer – twice.

But the people that really know me understand that my most courageous acts were with some of the more “ordinary” parts of my life. Like getting a divorce. Or quitting my job and starting my own business.

You see, climbing mountains and being diagnosed with cancer definitely required me to summon courage. But deep down inside, there was something in me that knew I was going to be OK. It was a deep knowing…and it seemed to transform my courage into confidence.

I remember being diagnosed with cancer the first time (kidney cancer) and after crawling into bed with my friends, curling into a ball and crying as they hugged me, I sat up, took a deep breath, and said, “I am going to DO this.” And so I did.

The same thing with mountains. I wasn’t they type to climb mountains where 1/10 people die. But I climbed some hard and scary stuff. Still, somehow my courage would move me through the fear, and confidence would take over. I can safely say that I never climbed a peak that I didn’t think I’d survive.

But divorce….that was a whole other ballgame.

You see, I was in one of those “maybe” marriages. It wasn’t a “Hell yes!” or a “Hell no!” kind of relationship. Knowing what to do would have been easy in one of those. Instead, I found myself with a lovely, good looking surgeon, who liked the outdoors, dogs, and made me laugh.

But there was something missing.

I think some people refer to it as passion – the kind that lasts. Whatever it was, I felt like I had to at least define it before I decided I wanted a divorce. Like just knowing it wasn’t right wasn’t enough.

That was one of my first lessons in courage: having a feeling and trusting it is definitely enough.

Then I started my own business, combining my skills as a healer, coach, yogini, functional medicine geek, midwife, adventurer, explorer, and lover of dancing under the moonlight.

The whole clarity bit came in because as a multi-passionate, it wasn’t enough to know what I loved doing – it also became important to know what needed to be important to me NOW. Which, of all my passions, would I benefit most from focusing on for any given day, month, season, or year? I had to learn I didn’t have to pick just one. I had to think creatively!

Courage came about because as I started my own business, I realized that it was the Clarity I had gained that helped me have the courage to quit my awesome job as a nurse-midwife and start my own business. Even though I didn’t know what the outcome would be, I KNEW what I wanted – which made taking the risks completely worth it.

Until I had clarity that my mandala of a business or finding my soulmate was what I was supposed to be doing, it was much harder to leave the marriage, or to quit the job. Clarity was the first step.

Could you imagine leaving a secure and wonderful job or a marriage to a perfectly awesome human being WITHOUT being clear about what you wanted? Not me. Not for those things.

But wait: I want to make something clear here (no pun intended): you shouldn’t always wait for clarity to arrive before taking action. I got more clear because of taking action.

Clarity that what you are currently doing is not what you are meant to do is a good enough place to start. Getting clear enough about your next step and going for it works! You don’t need to wait to know exactly how it will all pan out. That’s what courage is for.

Clarity didn’t arrive by me sitting there and thinking about what I should do, or from making lists, or chatting with friends. I got clear by trying different things, by getting in touch with what things light me up, and which things sapped my energy.

I had lots of relationships that taught me what I clearly did and did NOT want in a partner.

I had experiences with cancer that taught me what I wanted to prioritize in my life.

I had at LEAST three different websites and business names and tag lines before I realized I was a multi-passionate and should plan on never sticking with just one thing.

I want you to have the courage and confidence to listen to your inner wisdom, your intuition, your proverbial inner guru.

No matter what your definition of freedom and happiness is, know that it begins with Clarity and Courage. Don’t wait for your confidence to arrive before taking the next step towards creating the life, the career, or the health you want.

The time is NOW! Share with me the next courageous thing you are going to to below, no matter how great or small. We all need to start somewhere!

Want more? Join my Ultimate Confidence Course, a 7-week, full-on immersion program where you learn my 5-Step proven system for getting clear, managing your inner critic, and cultivating the courage and confidence to manifest the life you want and deserve. Head on over to to sign up now. Next course starts October 6, 2014.

You can also sign up for my FREE 7-Day Clarity + Courage Course. You’ll receive a gorgeous 52-page activity book, daily email prompts to help cultivate Clarity and Courage, a group forum, and recordings of past live calls where I teach you skills, laser coach, and answer pressing questions. Go to to join the tribe!

Note: This is Part 2 of a 2-Part Series on Clarity + Courage. For Part 1 – Clarity – click here for the guest post on Maia Toll’s blog


Ana Verzone is a skilled Boredom Slayer, Thrive Maximizer, and Mindset Alchemist. As the original Freedom Junkie, she is devoted to helping passionate women create their own unconventional lives of freedom, adventure, and purpose on ALL levels – from their cells to their spirit.

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