Twenty Seconds

by Becca Arrington

I’d like to think I’m a bold, headstrong, fearless woman. However, most of the time my aspirations fall short due to the feeling of inadequacy and embarrassment. In today’s society, free thought and expression is usually met with criticism and judgement, especially when coming from a young woman. With all that is working to silence our voices, and the stigma that surrounds being a powerful woman, it can be difficult to stand up for ourselves.

When I was 14, I saw a movie that quickly became my favorite, and changed my outlook on how to be brave. Cameron Crowe's We Bought a Zoo is a movie about a family that, well, buys a zoo. In the movie, the teenage son goes to his dad, played by the wonderful Matt Damon, and talks to him about problems he is having with the girl he likes. When his dad asked him what happened, he responded with, “I don’t know, it’s like you embarrass yourself if you say something and you embarrass yourself if you don’t.” To which his dad replies, “All you need is twenty seconds of insane courage; twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery and I promise you something great will come of it.”

Since I have seen this movie, I have thought about that quote on a weekly basis for the past seven years. While the dad is using the quote to explain how is teenage son should talk to his crush, I use it a motivation to act as the bold, headstrong, fearless women I inspired to be.

Whether it be walking in to a job interview, beginning a presentation, asking the tough questions, or standing up for what you believe in, all it takes it 20 seconds to make it happen. Once you make the intentional step with “embarrassing bravery” finishing it is the easy part. It’s the confidence that it takes to look past what could go wrong and have the courage to begin the action that is difficult.

Without fear of rejection or criticism, I am using my 20 seconds right now to boldly and courageously submit this article. I dare you to, the next time you are in a situation where you could easily be passive, take a long breath, and tell yourself, “20 seconds, that’s all it takes.” Then take that next step of insane courage. Be confident, be bold, stand up and stand out to get whatever you are after.

On average, a woman lives to be 79 years old. That equals around 2.5 billion seconds in one’s lifetime. Take 20 of those to make something great happen.


Becca is a junior double majoring in political science and public relations at The University of Alabama. An avid feminist from Johns Creek, Georgia, Becca wanted to empower women through a fun and creative platform - what better way to do so than through T+D?! If you want to be like Becca, fill out our contact form. We can’t wait to hear from you!


Becca Arrington