For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a person of courage. My favorite movie for the longest time was Braveheart (a must see if you haven’t – “freedom!!!!!”) and I have always thought NIKES ad campaign of NO FEAR was brilliant. Well, along my journey to be a courageous soul I have discovered a few things about fear that have radically shifted my perspective and the way I live into the future of unlimited possibility.
Today I will share these simple principles around fear that I live by:
1- Courage is not about being Fearless.
When I was younger I had it all wrong. I thought courage was about being fearless. Today I know better, it doesn’t require courage if one has no fear. Therefore, Courage is about being afraid…but doing it anyways. Recently I watched Braveheart again and I saw a scene that I didn’t remember from the first time I watched it. It is a scene where the main character who is a courageous warrior standing for freedom is alone and he is crying and saying, “I’m so scared.” Did the movie end there? Heck no! That’s when we got to see what courage really was…that’s when the movie began.
2- Fear is actually a compass.
That is pointing us in the direction we are meant to go (unless we are in mortal danger). Fear is not a bad thing. It is actually quite useful if we were being chased by tigers or walking a dark alley and suddenly fear guides us to get the heck out of there. However, all too often we let fear keep us from moving in the very direction we seek, the direction of growth. We rationalize and stand up for our excuses when opportunity or new ideas knocks on the door of our soul asking us to step outside our comfort zone. And I get it…I do that too, but for sure when I follow the fear as a compass rather than a warning sign to stop I find myself in the most magical moments of my life.
3- Action cures fear.
Maybe the most profound knowing I know about fear. So I’ll say it again…Action Cures Fear. It really does. It is as though suddenly all the stories and excuses appear as they are, stories and excuses. I take action and instead of being in my head about what could go wrong I am in the moment dancing with the very situation that before seems so elusive and scary to me. I see I was never really afraid on the actual thing itself, but rather a particular version of the thing (a possibly scenario). When I take action I am being what I have always wanted to be, courageous, and I see that I can live with fear without if having to effect my lifestyle. Action cures me of the negative effects fear has on me.
BONUS- Fear is simply excitement w/o the breath.
Tip: now that you know this too, take 3 slow, deep breaths next time fear comes up. Give yourself the space to enjoy the excitement of stepping outside your comfort zone and into the possibility of a future of courage that truly lights you up!