“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
I would like to honor my niece by celebrating and acknowledging her courageousness in battling cancer. In doing so, I am dedicating today’s blog to her by address what it means to be courageous.
Let’s talk about this greatly, underused trait, COURAGE. (Yes, I put that word in caps and I made it bold.) To have courage, one must be bold. Courage calls on our integrity to defeat fear… to stare intimidation in the face and say, “nuh-uh, you’re not getting the best of me.”
Courage by its definition is the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.
Every single one of us has fears. Fears come in all forms and in various degrees. I fear things like failure and roller coasters. Some fear love… or death. But let’s address something more tangible…like every day fears.
An every day fear is a fear of asking for a raise, telling someone you no longer love them, or quitting your stable job to chase your dream job. Or, in the instance of my niece, an everyday fear may be waking up and knowing you have to go sit through chemo. A fear can be a constant reality and live in you for days, weeks, months at a time.
Fear is being uncomfortable with the unknown… fearing the uncertain. But imagine what would happen if we were to get comfortable with uncertainty and understand that to be bold and press on builds character… that facing fear, intimidation, and uncertainty builds our strength and breaks down the barriers to courage. How might life be like for you if you had the courage to go after your dreams, to say how you feel, or to take that next step?
How would it feel to step up, knock fear on its toosh, and blaze a trail of courage…. ? For me, I would feel bold and brave. Accomplished even. And who knows, maybe I’ll get the end result I was seeking… which always, ultimately, means happiness.
Fears are a constant. Once you address one, another will rear its head. At some point, we must learn how to deal with it. So, I’ll leave you with this…
“Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne
P.S. Congratulations, Zoe!