Gail Miller with gavel
Culture Miller Family Message September 2021

Choose Courage

Miller Family Message by Gail Miller –

At a recent Gail Miller Women’s Leadership Group event, I had a discussion with an entrepreneur about overcoming fear. We talked about how fear can hold you back or help you push forward. We can recognize fear and replace it with courage.

Our discussion caused me to reflect on times in my life when I’ve chosen to replace fear with courage. One example is when Larry and I purchased our first dealership in 1979. It’s very different to go from being an employee to being an employer because you’re responsible for everything. It’s a very scary responsibility. In the early years, one time, Larry came home and said, “I’m sorry, we can’t pay ourselves this month because I can barely make payroll.” So that was a wake-up call for me, that being an entrepreneur is going to be very different. And yet, I had a lot of confidence in Larry and our ability to work through our challenges and fears together.

Larry and Gail

Another instance when I felt fear creep in and chose to replace it with courage was after Larry passed away and I stepped into my new leadership role in the company. Even though I had a lot of trepidation about becoming a business leader, I looked at my new role and thought, “No, this isn’t all that different. I can do this. I can overcome the fear. Think about what you can do, not what you can’t do.” 

As those doubts and fears tried to take over, I kept reminding myself of two little words that I used all of my life: I can. I can. I can learn. I can have courage. I can serve. I can be a representative of my company. I can use my stewardship in ways that bring about good. I can teach the things that I know. I can encourage others to be their best. I can discover all kinds of things that are beneficial to humanity. I can develop my talents. I can help wherever I’m needed. I can have vision if I look clearly at what’s ahead of me. I can be inclusive, and I can be kind.

Failure is a part of life, and no matter what you do, you’re going to fail at something, but don’t let that stop you. Sometimes that’s the impetus that makes you try harder if you use that failure to say, “Okay, I know what I did wrong. I won’t do that again. Now I will try it this way to avoid that pitfall.” 

Life can be uncertain, but we don’t need to fear the future or the unknown. We can have the courage to face anything that comes before us and take the opportunity to learn and grow. If you let fear determine your actions, you will never know what you are capable of becoming. So, be courageous.

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