Friday, March 29, 2013

When Fear is Courage

What's holding you back from doing that thing you've always dreamed about? What is the reason or the excuse for staying in your predictable comfort zone? Why do you just shut up and listen in circumstances when you completely disagree?

                F        E        A        R 

Submitting to fear is the universal brake that interrupts our greatest potential. But fear used correctly becomes courage, which propels us into success. 

The trick is how to cut the reigns of fear so that withdrawal fades and success becomes the final result.

Courage is a topic that I don't think I could ever get sick of researching. When I feel sad, overwhelmed and depleted, I turn to the topic of courage. In doing so, I'm not in any one particular sad place for too long.

I used to let fear completely determine almost everything. I felt shut in and isolated. I felt like I was becoming a social-emotional hermit. I was watching myself become withdrawn. I hated this. So I decided to stop.

                C        O        U        R        A        G        E 

It really was just that simple; I decided. Now, I'm not superhuman, I most assuredly feel fear - I just choose to act anyway. This decision was fueled by two amazing quotes. 

I embrace fear and let courage emerge with the support of Piers Anthony and Oliver Wendell Homes, who said:

"Being terrified but going ahead and doing what must be done—that's courage. The one who feels no fear is a fool, 
and the one who lets fear rule him is a coward." 
~ Piers Anthony

"Courage is about doing what you're afraid to do. 
There can be no courage unless you're scared. 
Have the courage to act instead of react." 
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

In order to continually suffocate fear with courage I personally feel you need to focus on five things. 

Rather than tell you how to do these five things, I think I'll simply state the five points and share a quote on the topic. Let your own mind define and create the direction of these categories as they apply to you.

1. Trust your heart
“It takes courage ... to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” 
~ Marianne Williamson, "Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of 'A Course in Miracles'"

2. Perseverance
"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

3. Honesty
"Sometimes standing against evil is more important than defeating it. The greatest heroes stand because it is right to do so, not because they believe they will walk away with their lives. Such selfless courage is a victory in itself." 
~ N.D. Wilson, Dandelion Fire

4. Frequently stand outside your comfort zone.
"Getting outside your comfort zone, letting go of the familiar
life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
~ Anais Nin

5. Face suffering with dignity or faith
"The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances."
~ Aristotle

"A man of courage is also full of faith."
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

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