What my cat taught me about courage.

Almost 2 years ago now, lovely Mollie came into our lives.  A twice rescued cat, she hasn’t had an easy start in life.  She is understandably wary of people, but is also incredibly loving and lovely to have around.  As most pet owners will say, we wouldn’t be without her and we love her as part of our family.

I was talking about her recently with a friend, pondering how I am similar to her in some ways, a wariness born of past experiences at times, and in her I sense a kindred spirit.  I think we can all harbour our past in our present, expecting that things will be as they once were.  Of course this is so often not the case, and we’d do well to let go of the idea and live now without those burdens.  I am a work in progress which I expect we all are.

Later that same week I was speaking with a neighbour who has two cats, both rescued.  My neighbour told me that of her two cats, one will not venture outside and the other will go out and come straight back in, too nervous to venture far.  Now Mollie, as nervous as she can be at times, has a few nick names in our house. One is Mollidin Zidane, as she likes to give you a head butt when she wants fuss. Another is Mollie the intrepid explorer, as that is exactly what she is.  When we moved into our house last November, Mollie would disappear and then return with a dusty nose or tail, letting us know she’d been seeking out the new nooks and crannies for her hiding places to be.  Mollie, our beautiful, brave and intrepid Mollie, she’s pushing herself out there.  I’ve no doubt she’s afraid sometimes, she stands and looks at me and asks me to go exploring with her, and then when she knows I won’t she goes anyway.  It reminds me of Susan Jeffers book https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Feel-Fear-Do-Anyway-Indecision-Confidence-Action/0091907071 Feel the Fear and do it anyway.  After speaking with my neighbour I reflected how Mollie does not let her fears stop her and she goes off into the world, her curiosity always winning out over anything else.

Pondering all this I was reminded that a couple of years ago  I visited a great hypnotherapist Mark Peters of http://www.balancedapproach.co.uk/, as I had then to overcome some long held fears.  I only spent an hour with Mark, and one thing that stood out about the session was his advice to turn the fear into excitement, or curiosity. Instead of feeling afraid, tell myself that I was excited and curious about the experience.  The fear of speaking publicly has now abated and I love delivering the sales workshops that we run such as this current one in partnership with NatWest Business Boost https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/making-a-positive-impact-on-sales-tickets-33003640778?aff=es2 .  Part of this has been preparation and practice, putting myself out there and just doing it.  I’m almost happy standing up to talk about myself….that may take more work! But recently, on the business growth programme we’re on, an opportunity arose to stand up in a crowded room of peers and share my 60 second pitch, something we are encouraged to work on Dragon’s Den style and not something I’m totally comfortable with.

I thought of Mollie and I thought of the choice I had. I remembered Mark’s advice. I had a moment of wonder at how amazing life is and how we only ever limit ourselves. I decided the opportunity had to be taken, and I decided then and there that for the rest of my life things may scare me but they won’t stop me.  I’ll never let an opportunity pass me by for fear.  I will feel the fear and do it anyway.  So thanks Miss Mollie for that little lesson in life. Funny what a cat can teach you.