An Antidote For Fear

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Courage Club began with a text. A friend set her alarm to go off at 3 p.m. each day, signaling that she had one hour to take Eleanor Roosevelt's advice and do something that scared her.

On this day, shortly after 3, she saw a male fashion model she recognized in NYC. She crossed the street, struck up a conversation, took a picture with him, and sent it to me.

When I got that text, I'd been wanting to contact a hero of mine for two weeks. But I'd been putting it off with all the usual excuses. I don't know what to say. I'll write it better tomorrow. Let me just sleep on it and it'll come to me. I need to update my LinkedIn first. Then I saw her text and in two minutes I'd sent the email.


I don't even remember who that hero was now. But I remember the moment of motivation blew me away. (Funny how we make a big deal out of things, but what matters later is whether we took action).

Suddenly, all the things I thought determined action—willpower, discipline, preparation, knowledge, blissful ignorance—were revealed as minor compared to the power of a social spark.

Later that year, I launched a first draft of Courage Club as a Facebook group called Step Forward. And I watched as people changed their major to a passion, leapt into a transformative trip to Peru, initiated a healing conversation with family. Ever since, I've explored ways to give individuals the permission and push to do all those things they desire yet avoid.

This work has taken me across the country—working with middle schoolers trying to become the first in their family to go to college, education entrepreneurs in New Orleans, community leaders in New York… and now here, to this online platform for building courage.