Speaking on Courage

On March 23rd, I gave a talk about courage to a group of 150 Sacramento Creatives. There is so much I could say about the experience of preparing and giving this talk. When I was first asked me to speak at Creative Mornings Sacramento, my first thought was, “Me? You sure?” But I was in a really brave mood so I accepted the opportunity. Don’t be fooled, a few weeks later, all I could think was, “Why the hell did I say I would do this??” When I started writing the talk I thought it would be mostly me doling out advice on courage I’ve learned over the years, with some art mixed in. But I got some help that made me see how important it was to share my actual story, even though I thought no one would want to hear it. One of the nights I was working on my talk and I thought to include the writing I had done when I let my “bad voice” speak. I legit had a physical reaction to the thought of doing that, I was audibly groaning and I felt sick about it. It was so vulnerable. But I also knew there was no way I wouldn’t do it. Rebecca, the head of CM Sac, suggested I do something interactive during the talk, like something with art or playing my ukulele. “Yeah right”, I laughed, “I would never play for a crowd.” But then I came up with the idea to write a courage song and incorporate the “bad voice” into it and knew I had to do it. And OH MAN, that SONG. I could have done a whole talk on courage in creativity about writing that song. The thought of doing it that made me physically sick. The having no idea where to begin. The agonizing over making it perfect. Completely scrapping my verses (both lyrics and melody) and starting over a week and a half before the talk. The uncomfortableness of singing it for my husband for the first time, let alone a group of creatives. Thinking that this whole thing is SO STUPID, why am I trying so hard??!! And finally knowing I’d be putting my creation out there for the world to hear and being fearful about if everyone would like it.

The whole week before the talk, I felt like backing out completely. But I kept moving forward. Kept taking actions until I was standing up in front of 150 people singing. I “messed up” a ton, I was shaking, I cried, I took a lot of deep breaths. All these were signs of me being vulnerable, which is a damn hard thing to do. This whole process was a lesson in courage for me. It’s really hard to let ourselves be seen. Fear and doubt can be very powerful anti-motivators. But when I got to the end of my talk, and the whole group (including the CM group in Canada watching via live stream!) and I sang the words, “Have courage, Be brave, in what you do, in what you say,” I felt amazing. In that moment, I felt like I could take on anything. I’ve been on a high that comes and goes ever since. That’s what practicing courage does to you. I hope you’ll watch the talk and take my call to action from the end of it. Take your big idea you haven’t done because of fear and DO IT. Take the first action and keep moving forward. 

You can view the Creative Mornings Page with my talk and Q&A here.

Here are the lyrics to my Courage Song. Lyrics with ukulele chords are at the bottom.

COURAGE SONG

by Lisa Bardot 

There’s a lot of things you haven’t done,
Because you were afraid.
What if it’s hard? What if it hurts?
What if everyone laughs at this thing I’ve made.

It’s frightening to risk it all,
How will you get up when you fall?

So If you are trapped, or feeling held back,
But inside you hear a call,

Have courage, be brave,
In what you do, in what you say.
Have courage, be brave,
In what you do, in what you say,
Everyday.

What if, what if, two simple words,
that carry a lot of weight.
They can mean big dreams and inventive things,
The drive to imagine and create.

But they can also carry fear and dread,
When they rattle around inside your head.

What if you took all your doubt, and threw it all out,
And took a leap instead? 

Have courage, be brave,
In what you do, in what you say.
Have courage, be brave,
In what you do, in what you say,

You might fail, you might succeed,
When we dream the outcome’s never guaranteed.
The only thing that’s for sure, is we’re all gonna die,
The rest is up to you, so you might as well try!

Have courage, be brave,
In what you do, in what you say,
Have courage, be brave,
In what you do, in what you say,

Have courage, be brave,
In what you do, in what you say,
Have courage, be brave,
In what you do, in what you say,
Everyday!

COURAGE SONG (with ukulele chords)

by Lisa Bardot 

[G][D][G7][C][G][D][G]

There’s a [G]lot of things you [Em]haven’t done, 
Be[C]cause you were a[D]fraid.
What if it’s [G]hard? What if it [Em]hurts? 
What if [C]everyone laughs at this [D]thing that I’ve made?

It’s [Em]frightening to [D]risk it all.
How [Em]will you get up [D]when you fall?

So [G]if you are trapped or [D]feeling held back,
but in[Em]side you hear a [D]call,

Have [G]courage, be [Em]brave,
In what you [C]do, in what you [D]say.

Have [G]courage, be [Em]brave
In what you [C]do, in what you [D]say,
Every [G]Day.
[D][G][G]

What [G]if?, what if?, two [Em]simple words, 
That [C]carry a lot of [D]weight.
They can [G]mean big dreams and in[Em]ventive things,
The [C]drive to imagine [D]and create.

But they can [Em]also carry [D]fear and dread,
When they [Em]rattle ’round in[D]side your head.

What if you [G]took all your doubt, and [D]threw it all out,
And [Em]took a leap [D]instead?

Have [G]courage, be [Em]brave,
In what you [C]do, in what you [D]say.

Have [G]courage, be [Em]brave,
In what you [C]do, in what you [D]say,

You might [C]fail, you might [G]succeed,
When we [Em]dream the outcome’s never [G]guaranteed.
The only [C]thing that’s for sure, is that we’re [G]all gonna die,
The rest is [C]up to you, so you [D]might as well try…

Have [G]courage, be [Em]brave,
In what you [C]do, in what you [D]say.

Have [G]courage, be [Em]brave,
In what you [C]do, in what you [D]say,

Have [G]courage, be [Em]brave,
In what you [C]do, in what you [D]say.

Have [G]courage, be [Em]brave,
In what you [C]do, in what you [D]say,
Every [G]Day.

[D][G7][C][G][D][G]

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