The Common misconception is that bravery is the absence of fear. Nothing could be further from the truth. Bravery is accepting fear, and moving forward in spite of it.
Even the seemingly fearless among us experience the same fears as the rest of us.
- Speakers, before giving an address, almost always feel nervous.
- Even the biggest rock stars have been documented to have stage fright, often serious cases of it, but you would never know it.
- Any soldier that has been to battle, and says they were not scared, at any point, is lying.
Fear is a part of life. It’s actually a healthy part in a lot of ways. Take the example of the soldier. Fear for his own life, and those of the guys around him, cause him to perform at a much higher level. It’s just Common Sense that fear causes us to be more cautious.
On the flip side though, fear can be debilitating. If we allow it, fear will grip our lives. It can hold us back from achieving our potential, and can have devastating affects on our lives overall. Lots of people live in mediocrity because of the fears involved with stepping out, taking some risk, and achieving more in of life.
It takes bravery to get beyond those fears. That’s not to say you won’t be just as afraid the next time. If the examples above tell us anything it’s that you probably will. But, you’ll be armed with the knowledge that you got through it once, and you can do it again.
Now, go try to explain this concept to a 6 year old. The way they see it, bravery means absolutely no fear.
Almost every reaction we have to any situation is a choice. We choose to let things affect us the way they do, and we choose to respond in a particular fashion. Fear is no different. We allow fear to affect us the way it does. We can choose to give into it, or choose to overcome it. It’s completely up to you.
“TheOnly Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
I had to throw this quote in here. FDR was saying the same thing, Fear is a choice. Do we want to be fearful or fearless? It’s up to us.
One of the ways we manifest our fears is through the act of worrying. I have often said that worrying is a complete waste of time and energy. It cannot affect the situation at all. The only thing it can do is make you feel worse. Regret is another wasted emotion, but we’ll save that for another topic.
My grandfather taught me once, “Only worry about that which you can control”. I like to add to that now by saying, “And beyond the thoughts in your head, you don’t control anything”. Following this logic, there is never any reason to worry. I wish it were that easy. Some of us tend to worry more than others, but we all do it.
So what sorts of fear do you deal with? Fear of failure is a common one. Fear of success is almost as common, but much less recognized by most. Do you fear heights, the dark, clowns?