When I first met Courtney Ruby she was the elected City Auditor of Oakland, California. She was confident, humble and very clear about her philosophy in life. She felt that in this journey of our lives “we either deal with our fears or they deal with us.” I just knew that I wanted to find out how she did what she did and asked her if I could interview her for consideration in my book, Gutsy Women Win. Without hesitation, she said yes.
When I asked her what it was she yearned for in her life and what was she hungry for, she responded:
“My hunger goes back to the place where anything is possible. When I look at what is driving us forward as a country, or even as an organization, I very much believe that our choices define our reality and how we live our lives. You can look at the glass half empty or half full. This is the way I have lived my life in the midst of a really challenging story with trauma, losses, and much more.
“I believe this time is an incredible opportunity. People need to be inspired. They need to know they can make a difference. They need to know that others care. For me personally, it is where I get to the edge and I have to jump off. It’s like there is something there; that I can’t turn back. I know I am here to do more, be more, and create more.
“What drives me is the life I am creating. Because I believe that I am here to serve others. I have a responsibility. At the end of the day, it can’t be about me, because if it’s about me, then I am pretty lifeless. This doesn’t work for me.
“If it is about serving others, making a difference, making a better world, then I am engaged. There has been a lot of fear in my journey—fear about ‘Is this mine to do? Am I the one? Do I trust that I know?’ The part of feeding my hunger is I know I am here to make a big difference, and the only thing that keeps me from making a big difference is my fear.
“If I truly believe I am a vehicle of change, then I have got to move out of my own way, and I have to step into the battles as they present themselves.”
Where is it you need to move out of your own way to deal with your fears?