Courage . . .
Todays post is from long time reader and contributor Steve Beyer:
The ability to take action In spite of fear. It is not the same thing as being fearless. Fearlessness as a characteristic can be dangerous to an individual as they may tend to partake in risk behaviors and actions. Truly courageous people are afraid and have fear, but they are not paralyzed into inaction by it. They are not without fear. They face the fear and work through it. Individuals who are so afraid that they never even try will show no personal growth from their inaction. In their minds, They did not succeed because they never really tried so it’s okay. These people give into the fear. They avoid the uncomfortability the fear brings thus strengthening the emotion…feedinzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzg the fear. Following this pattern conditions people to be more timid, fearful and less of a risk taker in life. HIghly successful and happy people are almost always risk takers in some way, learning new things, following their own path….making things happen. Risky failure and yes, facing their fears. This is true courage. In fact, you cannot even have courage without fear. Afterall how much courage do you really need to do something that you’re not afraid of?
You will never grow emotionally, intellectually, and socially when you insulate yourself from new experiences because of fear. Fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear, fear, fear. Fear causes some people to hide from life by drowning themselves in video games, alcohol, drugs and addictive social media venues. It has the ability to incapacitate and demobilize people. When this happens those people never give themselves a chance to unlock skills and talents they may have inside their being. The only guaranteed failure is the failure of not even trying. Listen to the tiny voice inside your mind and the spirit that comes from your soul. Perhaps they are not happy with your current choices. Make new and better choices, this is on you and you alone. Nobody else can make those choices for you. If you refuse to listen, the voice, like an underlying ache will always be there, reminding you of the things you could have and should have done , but didn’t.
Eleanor Roosevelt is quoted as saying, “We gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience where we face a fear and stand firm in front of it. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
Take the example of completing a task. Think about the level of satisfaction derived by completing a difficult and arduous task. The joy, the release and elation can be overwhelming enough to bring tears to the strongest of people. Witness the range of emotions a runner who has just completed their first marathon goes through at having achieved this milestone. Does the same elation, joy and satisfaction grab you when you have completed an easy task that you have invested little time or effort in? I think the answer is obvious. The greater the struggle, the deeper the joy when overcoming said struggle.
Struggles are almost always rooted in some kind of fear. Your mental capacity and spiritual will to face fear and figure out a way to overcome and get past it is what courage is all about Obstacles are put in front of us daily, the new girl in school you’d love to meet, trying out for the team a level up from where you normally play or the chance you take to start a new career based on a passion you have. We all have many chances throughout our lives to show our courage. Here’s the truly difficult part, sometimes the obstacles put in front of us knock us down or steer us away from our true path. We give in, give up and never find your way back to your original path.
Fear is not your enemy, it is your compass. Fear points you in the direction of your personal growth. Growth will only come when you experience the thing that you fear. Where life takes you, you will need courage. There will always be obstacles to overcome….always.
Most people are far more powerful than they realize. They need to just follow a path of courage and they will reach their full potential as a human being. What has to be understood is who is in charge of that potential. YOU ARE. Ultimately, the choices you make and the actions we take become your destiny.
Be well, Steve Beyer
Peace and Love, Jim