Keep Getting Up

Richie McCaw’s movie that covered his life leading up to the 2015 World Cup really touched me.

It’s taken me 4 years to really understand and, probably more accurately, believe the meaning of one of his mantras.  On reflection I had followed this mantra, but not for the same reasons.

It’s my belief that we are fundamentally shaped by our upbringing.  Mine wasn’t what you would call the white picket fence and I know a lot that weren't.  I can only speak from my experience and it was acutely painful.

Without going into gruesome detail, as that’s not the point of this story, I was in fight or flight mode for most of my life.

Keep Getting Up resonated with me when I watched his movie.  I knew what he meant by it in literal terms and in its subversive way.  And I adored the saying, still do.  It says so much about the man and the message I keep with me and follow myself.  It means resilience, persistence, facing adversity and most importantly not giving up on yourself.  It acknowledges that you will get knocked down, you will fail, you will make mistakes.  All in three simple words.

It brings me to my next point as to what’s more important – courage or confidence?  As an introvert, despite what some might think, I have always admired enviously those extroverts who seem to take the stage, the room suddenly appears 1000 lumens lighter and anything can happen.  I wanted that ‘confidence’.  It’s alluring and highly attractive.

From childhood to adulthood slowly but surely, my confidence in myself which never felt large to begin with, melted away till there was nothing left.

Again, I’m not sure where I first pondered this question, whether I read it or heard it on a podcast, but deep down I somehow felt that courage had to trump confidence.  And it may have been simply because I had so little confidence in myself, that there was nothing else to do but to have courage.

I constantly ponder this question. It helps me to reset my compass, especially when I am feeling inadequate, insufficient and not worthy of taking a place at the table.  I rely on the belief that whilst I might not be the most confident in my abilities at that moment in time, having the courage to risk something and be present, shows integrity and authenticity, no matter how uncomfortable I am feeling.

One thing this has taught me is to try to speak up at the table, even when you feel like you’re going to be looked upon as a fool.  It happens often as I always try where possible to sit amongst those who have greater knowledge than me, something I read as being a good thing to do.  I battle with this on a weekly basis, but at least I have awareness to know that perhaps if I am not feeling this feeling, I am not growing or moving forward.


Graeme Fan