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20 Seconds of Insane Courage

Updated on October 11, 2013

Shoulda Coulda Woulda

Fear can be crippling! When it strikes, and it strikes everyone to varying degrees, it can bring the strongest person to their knees, or leave an eloquent spokesperson babbling like a baby. The stomach does backflips, your hands begin to tremor, the skin gets clammy, and all semblance of cool and calm head south for the winter.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Nelson Mandela

How many opportunities have fallen by the wayside because of fear? How many dreams died on the vine because fear reared its ugly head and once again rendered our hopes as insignificant? How many sure things, absolute guarantees, withered from lack of attention, all due to fear of failure?

The birth of an idea
The birth of an idea | Source

The Birth of an Idea

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
Eleanor Roosevelt

I recently watched a movie called “We Bought A Zoo” with Matt Damon, a charming little Disney film about a family that said goodbye to the conventional and embraced the serendipity when they bought a zoo and then restored it. During the movie, Damon has a talk with his teenage son about finding the courage to tell a girl how he feels about her. Damon then says, ““All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and I promise you something great will come of it.”

I loved that line; it’s one of those lines in a movie that just slaps you alongside the head because it is so simplistically profound.

You do not have to conquer fear for a lifetime; all you need to do is conquer it for twenty seconds, and something great will happen. Wow!

I am reminded of a saying that I have heard thousands of times around the halls of AA, that to stay sober we just do it one day at a time, and then another day, and before we know it the days have become weeks, and the weeks months, and…..

You do not have to conquer all fear for your entire lifetime; you simply learn to conquer it in twenty second intervals, and once it has happened, you do it again, and again, until fear is no longer the controlling force in your life.

Trust Me, It Works

This writer is living proof that this works, and I’ll share some events in my life that should convince you.

I had wanted to be a teacher from an early age; I would not be able to tell you why, but my earliest memories are of me wishing I could teach kids. As I grew older I realized there was one major problem with this choice of career…..I was terrified to speak in front of other people! Yes, I was shy, but I was shy to the level of terror when it came to addressing a group of people. Tongue-tied does not even begin to explain the physical changes that would occur when I was confronted by more than one person and expected to speak.

I would literally become sick to my stomach. I would literally begin to shake, and when I did speak it was stuttering which only made things worse. Quite a roadblock for someone who wanted to speak to a classroom full of students daily.

I managed to push my fear to the back burner while attending college, until the day came when I was expected to do my student teaching assignment in a local high school. I remember driving to the high school the first day of my assignment, naturally sick to my stomach, and as I approached the classroom my knees were wobbly. I detoured to the bathroom, promptly vomited, and headed back to class.

Twenty seconds of insane courage! I could have gone home; I could have chalked it all up to bad judgment and picked a different career. Somehow I gathered the courage to stand before those students and do my first lesson, and in so doing my life changed. Eighteen years of teaching followed; eighteen years of wonderful memories, and all because I found those twenty seconds of courage.

20 seconds of courage netted me the love of my life....Bev!
20 seconds of courage netted me the love of my life....Bev! | Source
Sha
Sha | Source
Cyndi
Cyndi | Source

Another Time

I first met the love of my life, Bev, when I was working in a UHaul business. She came in one day and I was rendered practically speechless. I knew I had to find some way to know this woman better. I knew, instinctively, that she was someone I wanted in my life. Unfortunately, my desire did not translate into words to that effect, and I allowed her to leave the business without me transmitting any signals that might indicate to her that I liked her.

Five different times she came in after that, and five different times I failed to find the courage to talk to her, and then one day she was gone. A month went by, and then another and another, and no Bev! From November to February I went to work each day wondering if I would get another chance.

Then one day, there she was, and although my stomach was once again doing flipflops, and sweat was pouring from my forehead, I managed to ask her if she would have lunch with me.

We have been together now for five years, and we will be together for the rest of our lives.

Twenty seconds of insane courage!

I have two friends in the writing community who, in the last year, quit their full-time jobs so that they could write full-time. Let me repeat that for you….they quit full-time jobs with benefits so that they could write full time, no guaranteed pay and no benefits! I wonder if they were afraid before they did that. Duh! They had to have been scared to death and yet….they did it!

I am in contact with both of them daily, and neither of them regrets the decision. In fact, they are both loving life and excited about the possibilities that are before them. Sha and Cyndi, I salute you!

Twenty seconds of insane courage!

Two years ago, almost to the day, I was sitting in a faculty meeting after school. The principal decided that it was my turn to get castrated before the rest of the faculty. Now I don’t mind some constructive criticism, but this principal had been making life hell for all the teachers by constantly criticizing us, and on that particular day she decided it was my turn to be sliced and diced.

I listened to it for about five minutes, and during those five minutes I kept asking myself why I didn’t just walk out. I had taught for eighteen years, had accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish, was sixty-two years old, and I wanted to write for a living. Why was I listening to this woman skewer me in front of my peers?

It took me twenty seconds to stand up, grab my keys from my pocket, toss them in the principal’s lap, and walk out of an unacceptable situation.

Twenty seconds of insane courage!

Do you have the courage to make it happen?
Do you have the courage to make it happen? | Source
We will never know unless we try...go for it!
We will never know unless we try...go for it! | Source

Let's Chat About Opportunities Wasted

How about you? Have you overcome fear 20 seconds at a time?

See results

And Now It Is Your Turn

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

How about you? Is there something you have continually put off because of fear? Maybe you haven’t seen an old friend or family member because of tensions between you. Perhaps you have contemplated a career change, but you just haven’t found the courage to do it yet.

Maybe you have a special someone in your life who you would like to date, but you have held back because you were afraid of the outcome. Is there a book you want to write but fear and insecurity have kept you from doing so? Is there a new town you want to move to, or have you considered starting over in a new area?

I know for a fact that sitting back, years from now, wishing you had done something that you wanted badly, leaves you with a terrible empty feeling. I know for a fact that life is too short to have regrets based on shoulda, coulda, and woulda! I know for a fact that succumbing to fear leaves one with feelings of self-loathing and disappointment.

It does not have to be! All it takes is twenty seconds of insane courage! Forget about the outcome and listen to your heart. Whatever it is that you want so badly…..do it! Swallow your fear, walk forward on wobbly knees, and grab the brass ring that has been waiting for you. You get one chance at life; seventy or eighty years, on average, to answer the song that is within you. Don’t waste that chance!

Twenty seconds of insane courage…..something great just might come of it!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I love the 20 second idea. Having courage can be used for many situations. I am not sure I can pinpoint a devine moment of courage...However I have taken many risks without a thought. This is one of those hubs I am going to have to bookmark and read again. Believe it or not is a lot to absorb. Thanks for sharing who are ...that is always very special.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, thank you, and if you have taken risks without a thought then you have practiced this; it takes courage to take risks. :) I appreciate you and thank you for being who you are. I happen to like who you are. :) Have a great weekend!

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Always encouraging, always helping us to understand that we are more alike than different. And, always setting the example. You did not travel your bumpy roads for nothing Bill. Your voice is a voice of experience. It is a voice we hear and know that the words have substance. Your words come from having lived a real life with all its challenges. Your life is proof that we can overcome anything and now, in this piece, you've shown us how to do it - one little fragment of time, at a time. Awesome! Your story of meeting Bev and passing up chance after chance is precious. Thank God you finally found that 20 seconds. You deserve all the happiness you have found together. Hugs!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I love the title! We should all realize there is no room in life for shoulda coulda woulda. Learn from shoulda coulda woulda and go for it. Don't sit and feel sorry for yourself and dwell on failure. Pick yourself up by the bootstraps, recognize where you went wrong and move forward, otherwise you will have regrets when it's too late to do anything about it.

      I am honored you included me in your story of 'gumption'. Was my decision scary? Yes, indeed and still is somewhat. The deciding factor for me was I didn't want to come back from the dead and kick myself in the ass for not going for my dream. In the latter part of my life, I have no room for regret. As you say, it takes and spends too much energy for naught. That energy can be used in striving for what you want out of life. You are testimony to that and my biggest inspiration.

      I'm pleased to know there's another 'brave warrior' out there. I will have to check Cyndi out. I love a woman with balls as brass as mine!

      Gotta go for now. I need to finish your video then get to work. We writers rarely have free weekends, as you well know

      Love Ya,

      Sha

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Bill, I absolutely love it! This is great. Wonderful quotations, sound advice... So happy you didn't let them walk all over you anymore! It gives me food for thought as I an in an abusive work situation myself. Even happier that you had the courage to ask Bev out. Just one question though, coming to you by email! Have a wonderful day! Up and awesome!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Oh yes I can relate to 20 seconds of insane courage many a time throughout my life.

      The first when I was twelve years old as I found the courage to tell a teacher at school of what was going on in my young life!!!

      I can remember the burden lifting and even though members my religious family who were also 'pillars of the community 'never truly forgave me for disclosing such disgrace. Warped minds I think applies here;but I didn't care ;I had told!!! That was all that mattered to me!!

      Again I found it as I told my ex that I was leaving him and did just that !!!!

      The next time I found my 20 seconds of insane courage was when I said a very big 'YES' when Dai asked me to go for a meal with him.

      There is another time and that was when I clicked on that very first 'PUBLISH' button on here.

      This hub was brilliant Billy and I have to vote up and across the board plus shares onto my FB pages.

      Here's lots of love to you and Bev and enjoy your weekend.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, you are so encouraging! Thank you so much! The greatest thing I ever did was swallow that fear and ask Bev out. There is a great story attached to that....remind me to tell it to you soon! You will love it!

      Thank you for being you! I hope the weather is not nearly as bad as predicted; stay safe my friend!

      hugs back atcha,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, there is no rest for the wicked you mean! LOL No, we writers rarely take a day off. I force myself to stop at 10:30 on weekends and give the rest of the day to Bev; she deserves the time and so do I! :)

      Thank you my dear; you do have brass balls and I'm proud to know you.

      love to you,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, when I was younger I would have never walked out of that abusive job.....when you reach a certain age you come to realize it just isn't worth the misery, that life is too precious.

      I look forward to your question and I wish you a wonderful Saturday in Mesa!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, those are perfect examples of the 20 second rule.....I have a great story associated to the first time I asked Bev out....I will share it with you soon. Thank you for your recollections and examples. I think many people can relate to those examples; we all have the courage we need; we just have to dig down deep and pull it out....the rewards can be incredible.

      Now I owe you a visit. Let me put my raincoat on and come over and visit your site.

      love always,

      bill

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Here, here!! Very well said, bill. "Courage," 20 seconds worth, if that's what it takes, or mustering up for the long haul.....You said it best when you quoted Matt Damon's line......."....something great will come of it."

      It always does, doesn't it? this, in itself can encourage us to do this more often!

      I can recall times in my life that I beckoned to this courage. I'm sure most of us can. It is true, as you shared your "Bev," story (CUTE!) that it takes courage to just go for it, putting fear of rejection or disappointment aside! And I appreciate Eddy's comment in terms of the courage it requires to walk away, as well.

      Interesting, in nearly all cases, we seem to reach that point...and we know it has to be done......regardless.

      Up Vote on this of course..............

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 4 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Fear can be all-consuming, billybuc. Courage is rare. Twenty seconds can be an eternity. Congratulations on your ability to face fear and overcome it. Your example, and your willingness to reveal your challenges openly, is admirable.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, you are oh so correct. It is not always fun, but for peace of mind there are times it simply must be faced and overcome. Thank God I did it with Bev; I hate to think of a life without her. :) Yes, there can be rejection and disappointment, but to me, what is worse is the knowledge that I didn't try. That kind of memory will haunt me daily.

      Thank you my friend; stay safe and warm this weekend!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      William, I love your profile picture! And yes, 20 seconds can indeed seem like an eternity....and there will be times when we are met with rejection or disappointment....but for me, the alternative is unacceptable. :) Thank you!

    • shruti sheshadri profile image

      shruti sheshadri 4 years ago from Bangalore, India

      Oh my my! i truly missed reading your works sir! but , this title really captured my attention and i am just so happy to read it! A brilliant message, beautiful quotes and highly inspiring, fear, yes, one needs courage to overcome fear! but its not impossible :)

      Thank you, voted up :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shruti, it is always nice to see you visit my humble site. Thank you, and may your life be filled with courage and happiness. :)

      Have a wonderful weekend in Bangalore!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, it could happen. It sure won't kill you if it doesn't work the way that you'd like.

    • sandrabusby profile image

      Sandra Busby 4 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

      Good one! Thanks, billybuc, for keeping us on track and helping us all to live up to "our best." Voted up and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, it most definitely won't kill us....and it just might set us free. :) Thank you my friend; I'll see you at Boomer Lake tomorrow!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sandra, thank you! I hope life is good in Tuscaloosa this Saturday! I appreciate the visit and I wish you happiness this weekend.

    • Dancing Water profile image

      Dancing Water 4 years ago

      Yet another stellar hub from you, Bill, which does our spirits and minds good! I don't exactly know why, but since I was a little kid, I've faced a majority of my fears with no regrets. Facing those fears brings great rewards to ourselves as well as others. However, it always helps to hear encouraging, inspiring words that you deliver, friend. In fact, they have come at a good time for me. Thank you, for your caring, compassion, and commitment to others. (And no, I did not intend to alliterate here. :O)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Reba, intention may not have been there, but alliterate you did indeed do! :) Thank you as always! Facing fears with no regrets.....what an incredible freedom! I totally agree: facing fears brings great rewards. I am happy that these words came at a good time for you. Have a weekend filled with happiness my friend!

      bill

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Sometimes, when we hesitate too much we end up not being able to do anything at all! Thanks for sharing these lovely stories, and I share as well!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, I put that under the category "if you snooze you lose. " :) Thank you as always, and I hope you are having a great weekend.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Wow, what a wonderful message and truly loved the 20 second concept. Totally all it takes is 20 seconds. I also was shy when I was younger and even fainted one time giving a speech in college. but got back up there the next time and did fine. Just like you overcame that fear enough to be a teacher. Thanks for sharing and have of course voted and shared all over, too!!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Been used through history and in love matters. 20 seconds make a difference indeed. Human nature is timeless, and encapsulating powerful messages in this lapse of time inside the drifting bottle of life could change the human race fate. Actually 20 seconds are enough to time travel behind everybody's mind, and come back changed or literally touched. Many philosophers came out with an idea withing those 20 seconds of euphoria. Great stories my friend! Have a restful weekend. We will be hit by "Sandy" in three days, so maybe ...at least our words will be a legacy. Take care buddy!

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Incredible Bill, the way you brought this across is awesome and inspiring. That first step can be tough, but the second and third are then easy!

      Mark

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      A round of applause to you billybuc! You always empower us with your words--this time, 20 seconds is all we need.

      Been there, done that...I've my own fair share of story about this but most definitely will be needing more than 20 seconds to share it.

      Love this hub! Voting up and across and absolutely sharing!

      Here's to our courage in creativity!

    • Kimberly Vaughn profile image

      Kimberly Vaughn 4 years ago from Midwest

      Great hub billybuc! I loved the movie We Bought A Zoo! The line about 20 seconds of insane courage was the most memorable part. It really stuck with me too.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill, Used to go through that every night on stage. Learned early on that a person can change that nervousness to energy and make it work for them. There are some audiences though...... whew, anyway great advice! Fear of the unknown can keep us from finding things we truly enjoy. Face it, get over it, and move forward! Great job, my friend!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Bill,

      What a fascinating subject for a hub dear one!!! Throuhout my life, I have had those 20 seconds of "insane" courage, but still I do hold back on a lot, why, well, fear. But last year the best 20 seconds of courage I found was after I just knew I had DCIS Breast Cancer, and not one bit of fear ever entered my mind throughout the whole trial, as my mind immediately went to one of my favorite scriptures,

      "Perfect Love Casts Out Fear." 1 John 4:18 What powerful words, when we know and experience that "perfect" love, it casts out all fears.

      Voted Way Up In His Love Always, Faith Reaper

      Now, I must go and read RC's profile, as he is talking about being on stage? I am clueless, as to one of my favorite writers here.

      Plus, I realize after reading another's comments, I must pray for protection for all who are in the path of "Sandy!" God bless.

    • Jordanwalker39 profile image

      Jordanwalker39 4 years ago from GA

      That was a hell of a hub! I loved it. I really liked that Mark Twain quote.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 4 years ago from UK

      Love this 20 seconds of insane courage. My life seems to be a series of such 20 seconds... from being a anxious introvert to someone who could do public speaking, from deciding to ditch an Engineering course that was dull and uninspiring to doing medicine, deciding to leave the country of my birth and coming to a strange, foreign land to do higher studies and get a job... I've been there Sir Bill. I am anxiously waiting to see where my next 20 second courage is going to take me and to be frank, I can't wait. Awesome hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, thank you for adding that great personal experience. We all have it in us, and isn't that a remarkable thing? You are appreciated my friend; I hope your Saturday was a little better than most!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joseph, when viewed through the eyes of history, 20 seconds are all that is needed to make an incredible difference in this world. Thank you for that eloquent reminder.....and a very hope-filled reminder.

      Good luck with Sandy; may she weaken and bring un-anticipated tranquility to your region.

      Thank you buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, thank you! Yes, quite often that first step seems impossible.....and still we move forward....always forward.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cris, I love the human spirit, and our unlimited possibilities. You worded it perfectly, and thank you for your kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kimberly, I have been waiting for months to write about that one line from the movie; it stayed with me and today it was finally released. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, you just used two of my favorite words....move forward. We always move forward, despite the reviews, despite the setbacks, always forward. Thank you Sir!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I know of your trials of course, and I am, and always will be, in awe of your courage and grace under fire. Bless you my friend, and thank you for being a living example of all our species is capable of. Blessings to you, today and always,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jordan, thank you so much! Just sending some positive vibes out across the internet this Saturday!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Docmo, beautifully states, and I love that you look forward to the next challenge. That is what life is all about, facing the next, and the next, and always pushing forward despite whatever fear we might have. Thank you my friend and blessings to you always!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Outstanding, inspirational and inspiring, Bill. This is wonderful, boiled down to those twenty seconds that could change a life.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Xstatic, thank you! Our lives are filled with such moments; I think that's what I like most about getting older, is the ability to look back and see the wonder of it all. :)

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      The best way I can support your 20 seconds of courage concept, Bill, is to tell you that it changed my life. My parents and I were estranged for about 20 years, while I was married to my first ex. My parents missed Megan's childhood by their choice. I never stopped thinking about them or loving them or missing them. One day I decided (with some divine intervention) that I had to see them. I did and as I was leaving my dad hugged me for the first time I can remember and told me he loved me. He told me not to stay away. Two months later, he died suddenly of a massive stroke at his brainstem. I stayed with him in the hospital those last 24-hours of his life. I was honored to be with him. I cannot tell you how much more devastating it would have been for me the rest of my life, had I not let go of my fear and seen my parents that day I was compelled to reach out to them. As you may remember, my 85 year old mother has health problems now and I am helping her. That reconnection would never have happened had I not made it happen.

      Thank you, Bill, for a reminder that is absolutely gospel truth.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      You know, Bill, I never quite put it the way you did with the 20 seconds of courage. But when I think about some of the things I have done, it has been those 20 seconds. Some worked out better than I could have imagined. Some didn't, but the interesting thing is, either way, I never had any regrets. The regrets usually come from the things we didn't try. I enjoyed the story about how you met Bev. Wonderful hub as usual. Always love your inspiration!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rhonda, exactly! Randi had a great comment earlier....well, actually in an email to me....that yes, we may fail, but conquering fear and taking those 20 seconds is all about trying. The outcome isn't always what we wanted, but the end result is we took a huge step to overcome that which frightened us.

      Thank you my friend; I hope you are well and best of luck with that incoming storm.....I think you are on the east coast. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy, what a miracle those 20 seconds were for you....and for your parents. Thank you so much for sharing that so that others who read these comments can see the truth. There is no doubt that taking a step like that is frightening, but as you said, living with not trying is no walk on the beach....and we open ourselves up to so many possibilities when we are willing to risk it.

      Wishing you a wonderful Sunday my dear; thank you so much, as always!

    • RobinGrosswirth23 profile image

      Robin Grosswirth 4 years ago from New York

      I had the same issue with teaching and somehow with those 20 seconds of courage overcame the fears in order to teach in each forum I taught in.

      I just can't get over the fact that you up and left your position (good for you). Some principals are horrific. I had my own experiences.

      Basically, we are only afraid of the "fear" itself. Usually if you go through the event, success greets you on the other side of the door.

      Great hub as usual.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Oh, BB, I salute you. Chuckle - I was over here clicking on blogs from my website and I was waiting for your blog post. But then I came over and saw this amazing hub. Well, in the same way, I need to give you credit. Because of your inspiration, you in particular have helped me overcome my fears. I feel like I walked into a big, wide world.

      It's all still uncertain, but I can tell you that I am happier than I have been in a long, long time. Teaching just wasn't for me.

      Oh let me tell you. I'm piss poor but I'm ludicrously happy. In that way, no amount of money in the world would make me regret my decisions.

      Where will the road go? I have no idea. But you know I have to share one lesson I've learned in this whole process: you just have to trust that it will be all right. Whether you trust in the universe, fate, God or whatever your belief system may be, the one thing I have learned is that it will work out and that you have to trust that it will. I'm working on the trust part, I admit, but I'm rolling with it.

      And I'm doing what I want.

      My God, my God. I'm doing exactly what I want. So is my husband. We BOTH dove off the deep end. I don't know if I told you that. He turned down a couple part time jobs to do his passion: fix up old cars and go for it on eBay.

      Is it smart to have us both do something like that?

      Of course not.

      Was it safe?

      Hell no.

      But it's an interesting road and we're getting really inventive.

      And I feel alive. ALIVE!

      Once again, I have no idea where this road will go. But I do know that as humans, we're not meant to toil and be slaves under an employer or under financial obligations. We're meant to be free. For better or worse, we're meant to be free.

      And I am free.

      Continue to be you and continue to write exactly as you do, BB. You're changing lives and you will always have a special place in my heart. Always.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Robin, I would have never walked out of a job when I was younger. I had a horrible principal when I first started teaching, and my attitude was that I could outlast her, and I did. But at the age of 62 I had no desire to outlast anyone, and the time was right for me to be a writer, so there you have it. :)

      Thank you as always; best wishes as the storm approaches. Stay safe!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, you have said it all my dear friend! Life is just too short not to take chances. I don't know if you know this, but Bev quit her full-time job that she had had for thirteen years....she quit about a year ago. Money was instantly tight for us, but the job was wearing her down and affecting her health, and it just wasn't worth it to us. I would rather scrape by than have Bev's health affected by a damn job.

      So here we all are, doing what we love to do; not getting rich, but healthier and happier than we have been in a long time. So I say hooray for you, your husband, Bev and me....we are the real winners in this story.

      Your respect and kind words mean a great deal to me; thank you for believing in me.

      bill

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      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Perhaps being on stage since 7th grade give me a different perspective of fear.

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      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      bill this hub is the one that touches me deep down. Years ago I was forced to be on disability. Two years ago I had surgery on my brain in order to help decrease the seizures I have from epilepsy. I still take medication, and I still have a vagus nerve stimulator. I am still on disability, but I have to chance to enroll in the Ticket to Work Program. It may not work, but I am taking that chance anyway. I am a little scared, but it is a chance I am willing to take. If it does not work, at least I took the chance.

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      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Bill,

      I thoroughly love this piece and can happily say I'm a fearless, without ever being careless, kinda gal.

      Like you, I was painfully shy and felt beyond nauseuous as a nurse, giving classes to staff. Now I thrive in my classroom setting and enjoy helping others feel less anxious about their presentations.

      Like you, I handed my keys in as I worked for a bunch of very young, silly and arbitrary individuals. As I was being counseled for "eye rolling", I knew I could either start laughing uncontrollably or act like a lady and return those keys. I feel Mom guided me from heaven and my husband was so understanding. Now I teach and I write... Pretty cool.

      And I owe that courage to my life experience in 1999... Where I literally stayed awake for 46 hours by counting each 15 minute increment on the wall clock, during the light hours...oh and a lot of praying.

      And, like you and Sha and so many of us here at HubPages, we are some mighty brave and fabulous people. Thank you for raising this most thought provoking issue.

      I am sooooo glad you met Bev most of all but bravo for being your own man. Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

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      Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

      Great message, Billybuc. You always get to my heart and mine in a positive way. You have been blessed with a wonderful spirit. Thanks for sharing with so many of us. You are helping lives in more ways than you might ever realize.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, I have no doubt that you have a different perspective with your experience. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michele, that is exactly the point, and bless you for making the attempt. No, it may not work, but it won't be because you didn't try. My best to you my friend, and thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, bravo to you, for finding the courage to listen to your heart and find a new way. I applaud you, and all out there, who overcome fear and forge a new path. Thank you so much for your kind words; my life with Bev is a blessing, and today I love life, and it is all because I was willing to face my fears.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dexter, I hope that you are correct; that is why I write, to reach people and hopefully help them. Thank you Sir; and I wish nothing but happiness for you and your family.

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      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Bill - not only have you lived, loved, lost - and learned - you also offer such words of wisdom - such hard-earned pearls of knowledge - in such a patient, tolerant, and helpful manner!

      You have a gift, my friend - and it's an honor to read you..

      Inner strength...such a topic you tackle this day - some know far too much about it - and some know absolutely nothing!

      I was in senior management in an insurance company - and i trained and managed a LOT of people..

      When i started in the industry - i remember my mother crying - telling me how the majority fail after far too much time and effort..

      well - in my life - failure was NOT an option - 2 mouths to feed with no safety net made sure of that, but - WOW - did it open my eyes to fear - and a total lack of inner strength! Many went for weeks or months trying to bullshit either themselves or me - yet - so few would actually DO IT!

      Just one concrete example, of course...

      love your work, my friend and you and Bev make a beautiful couple!

      voting and sharing with the hub-munity...

      have a lovely sunday

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, you are now making me blush. Your comments of late have humbled me, and yet, honestly, a part of me is embarrassed when I get such praise....still the little boy not sure he is worthy of such attention. :)

      I loved your example, and failure not being an option. I'll tell you, Leslie, but you know this all too well....when our backs are against the wall, and there is no escape, we find out real fast what we are made of, don't we? The fight or flight response kicks in very quickly, and in our choice is the measure of who we are. :)

      Thank you my friend; I will, indeed, have a great Sunday, and I wish the same for you!

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      Donna Kay Bryan 4 years ago

      Bill, What a truly inspirational gift you are to all of your readers. You are absolutely correct about this. I have always told my students that if they don't try, they won't know. I know that they get scared (and angry with me) when I push them out of their comfort zones, but it is so gratifying when they realize their potentials.

      I know from my own experiences that each agonizing twenty second segment of courage can add up to a life that is more rich and fulfilling beyond expectations. God bless you for reminding all of us of that.

      -Donna

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I agree with Dexter. You always make me think about some aspect in my life that needs some improvement. The one fear that I have not conquered is fear of height. ( Acrophobia ) I thing it is related to my childhood. Thank's again..Great topic to explore...

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! I'll tell you something about acrophobia....I have climbed mountains....and it was about ten years ago that I started developing a fear of heights....weird, huh? Now the thought of climbing a mountain frightens me, and I've climbed seven in my lifetime. Sigh! another fear to conquer!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donna, great comment and oh so right! The joy that we attain from trying.....just trying....and the satisfaction we gain from moving beyond a fear.....well, it is priceless and oh so necessary. Bless you for this great comment, and keep telling your students what you are telling them. :)

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      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Lovely stories Bill. I too love that quote. As I sit here in my home on the South Shore of Long Island, near the Great South Bay, I'm going to need more than 20 seconds of insane courage as Hurricane Sandy is due to make her appearance in a few hours.

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      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      billybob....sorry to be a pain (don't say it!) but I did use the correct address.....check your spam folder....thanks

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rfmoran, stay safe my friend. I'll be praying for all of you! Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, you aren't being a pain, I just didn't get it for whatever reason. Send again and I'll be on top of it.

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      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      You have provided fine quote examples pertaining to the advice regarding facing our fears as well as a stellar example of overcoming them with a brave act such as the one Shauna made. I also reflect on how many students never would have benefited if you had allowed your fear to dictate your actions. And most importantly, the wonderful Bev would have been a passing ship.

      Take care.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, thank you as always....what would life be without Bev....or my teaching life.....I am so grateful for my life, Beckie! I just want to shout it from the rooftops each and every day.

      Now my friend, I want you to stay safe in the next few days. Let' that bad Sandy blow over and come back safe and sound to us.

      Sending prayers your way my friend.

      bill

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      I have made all the necessary preparations I could. Mom has a good supply of meds, we have sufficient water and non-perishable food, I've moved the vehicles inside, secured all the outdoor items that may prove hazardous and lugged wood for two days. The animals have enough drinking water and food and I have placed what weight bags I could around the outside of the basement. We are as prepared as possible in case we are without power for four or five days.

      I am attempting to review as many hubs as I can before we lose power. The wind is picking up as I type this. If you don't here from me for a bit, please know it's only because of power issues.

      As your hubs state, it's times such as this when I know my loved ones and family are safely inside that it is truly obvious what matters is most.

      Blessings to you and Bev.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, you have, indeed, done everything you could; now it's in God's hands, and may he smile down upon my Irish friend. :) Please know that there are writers who care about you (Bev and I are two of them) so let us know when you can how you are doing please.

      blessings and love,

      bill

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      What a pep talk and one that has left me ready to reach the next level. I love your quotes and I would add one of my favorites, "A ship is safe at harbour but that's not what it's made for." Love your sharing about how you met Bev -- that is so sweet. Take care and God bless you for how you are changing things in this world.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna my friend, you have gone above and beyond the call of duty tonight; thank you for reading one and re-visiting another of my hubs. I love your quote about the safe harbour and it is oh so true. Thank you; I'll tell Bev you thought it was sweet. :)

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      You can accomplish anything (well, almost anything) in twenty seconds...Bill you are a beacon to the ships floating around with fear and failing hope...you and your hubs are an inspiration! God bless.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, that was a very kind thing to write, and if you are correct then I am one grateful writer. Thank you my dear and I hope you are safe after the storm.

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      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I loved reading this Hub such an encouraging piece of work. Life is full of surprises and not everyone is the same when it comes taking chances, and whatever you choose to do in life you must love it

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, yes, for sure, you must love it, and you must find the courage to follow that love. Thank you once again; three views from you on the first day of following; I am very grateful my new friend.

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      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Billy

      Point by point, I could check off 'yes' ....he nailed it again. No shoulda' woulda' coulda's for me...I thought I was the only one who used that combo of words....

      No time for regrets, embrace today. Muster up the courage to do whatever it is. I had to shake my head when you said you were paralyzed when the thought of speaking in front of a group became a reality for you...and somehow you did it anyway. I have taught for 40 years and have endured that feeling anytime I had to speak in front of anyone except my students. I so knew the feeling.

      And look at you now...speaking to so many of on a daily basis...it is not the same thing in one respect but it is in another...as you are putting yourself out there, out here as it were, for all of us to mull over and consider. That takes courage, my Friend. Voted up and all that!!!+++++

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, the first personal hub I wrote nine months ago took courage; after the warm reception I got from that hub it became easier and easier. I have found a giving community of kindred spirits and I love it here.

      Thank you for your friendship, PS! I hope one day we can meet and enjoy ourselves in person.

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      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Bill, you have shared a wonderful story. I always love to read your personal narratives. Your 20 second idea is brilliant.

      Regards

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vinaya! I have found that personal narratives help a reader relate to the story better; I'm glad you enjoy them my friend.

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      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      That is a compelling quote and you have provided great examples from your own life story about how you only need 20 seconds of courage to change your life for the better. Very inspirational hub indeed. It is those little pushes that help us make the change that we need in our lives. Voted up.

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      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      "The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." I LOVE this line and have used it liberally both in life and in business..

      I taught my children that 'Fear limits Life', and that people who are successful were not devoid of fear - but - were courageous enough to perform in the face of it!

      (Are you positive that we didn't live parallel lives? lol)

      So glad you liked the poem, Bill - not that you would say shit if your mouth were full of it..

      LOL

      xx

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tips my friend (I always hesitate to use your real name without permission).....I think people believe they have to have this huge amount of courage to achieve anything; in reality they just need courage for a few seconds, and we are all capable of that. :) Thank you as always!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, you continue to crack me up......believe me, shit has come out of this mouth once or twice. :) Gets a little messy when it does.

      Parallel lives? Possible I guess; we certainly have similar thoughts on many matters. That might explain why I respect you so much. LOL

      Thank you my dear! Looking forward to you stirring the pot with you next hub.

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      Nora411 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

      I loved that quote too! When I saw the movie I felt the same way. It's absolutely true and a great way to look at lifes obstacles. Once again, an amazing hub!!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nora! I hope all is well with you; looking forward to you writing something new. :)

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      Cynthia Sageleaf 3 years ago from Western NC

      O.M.G.

      Dude! Okay...so I MISSED this article the first time around. Ya wanna know how I found it!?! I'm writing a craigslist ad for tutoring and I am having trouble downloading my own image from my website. haha.

      So, I right-click and I get an option that says, "search google for similar images" - curious, I clicked on it and guess what!?! It led me here. hahah.

      So, I right-clicked on my photo and I can complete my craigslist ad. I have this image saved on a jump-drive somewhere but I didn't feel like moving the cat off my lap while I'm sitting here trying to complete all this.

      Anyway, I had to share that little funny story. :) And thank you so much for the shout-out. Many things are happening these days. I will keep writing, though, ironically, my path in the writing world is going to be more "adjunct" - I'm going to write articles to supplement my teaching and tutoring. At least here on HP. :P

      Hugs to you, Big Bro. You're always a bright light to me. I promise to return the favor of a shout-out. You've made a difference in my life. xo

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lil Sis, I had forgotten about mentioning you in this one....LOL...glad you found it although it was a bit of a detour getting there.

      Returned favors are not necessary. I like helping friends...I like helping good people....you are both. :)

      bill

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      Melanie Chisnall 3 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      A humangous powerful message, my friend! I didn't know that about you and teaching. That's one of the most inspiring things I've ever read. I feel a new wave on inspiration after reading this. Thank you! And what a wonderful story of how you met Bev, too. :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Mel! This is a message that is important to me; I want people to realize their happiness, and we just don't have that much time in life to do it...grab it while you can.

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