GIFTS: Leadership. Blazing a new trail without worrying about having followers. Having a view from above. Ferocity. Self-expression. Independence.
CHALLENGES: Moving so far ahead that no one can follow. Loneliness. Getting stuck from not knowing where to go. Losing faith in yourself (from lack of support). Doubting yourself.
Spirit Animal Cougar—also known as Mountain Lion, Puma, Catamount and Panther—is unafraid to follow its own path, no matter how high, how steep or how rocky. Cougar represents a confident leadership that has no worries about who—if anyone—is following. Borrow Cougar energy to let go of ego-based desire for followers, groupies or flunkies. Focus instead on finding and following your own path and know that the ones who need you *will* follow you.
Think of the genius of Nikola Tesla and how followers are finally starting to catch up with the brilliance of his work (and now Tesla Inc., founded and run by Elon Musk, which, fortunately, has followers and buyers today—though, in my opinion, not enough; let’s get governments on board with their energy solutions).
Spirit Animal Cougar does not cultivate a following before leading the way. Cougar blazes the trail and trusts that the right followers will come—now or later.
Many people define a leader as someone who has followers. But Cougar teaches that a true leader creates the vision and walks the path that inspire people to follow. This method does not work for everyone. It does not work for most, in fact, because Cougar energy can be difficult to master and difficult to follow.
You know the quote from Mahatma Gandhi: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” This is Cougar. Cougar’s definition of winning is blazing the trail so others may follow.
There is a part of Cougar that would love for people to follow now. And Cougar is quietly pleased—impressed even—when people do follow now. But Cougar has a profound patience and radiating confidence that enable it to lead without worrying about who is following—if anyone.
Cougar has a greater view and perspective than most other spirit animal cats. Cougar is a powerful jumper and tends to live in habitats where it can climb to gain a higher vantage point. This view from above imbues Cougar with the confidence to be a solitary leader because Cougar can see farther along the trail it is blazing.
Cougar is often related to releasing the fear of missing out. If this is your fear, remember that Cougar teaches going at your own pace, the pace that’s right for you.
If you have the fear of losing control, Cougar energy can be helpful in remembering that the world does not actually end if you lose control, that you are strong enough and whole enough to survive the loss of control.