Fear and Courage – the difference is…

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As individuals each of us carry a variety of fears and we try our best to keep it secret. At the same time we are we are very proud of some of our courageous deeds and would be ready to share it with any audience. Perhaps we would much more courageous stories to share if we saw fear and courage in the right perspective; fear is a reaction; courage is a decision.

Incidentally, FEAR is also a well know acronym, which when expanded reads as False Evidence Appearing Real (you can read more about it by clicking on the following link http://poweract.blogspot.com/2009/12/fear.html ) Hence almost all our fears are our mental reactions to what we imagine would be dangerous/ disastrous / hurtful / risky for us. At times we have third party evidence to suggest that the risk is real e.g. wild animals mauling humans or people falling off and dying when on a trek etc. What we fail to realize is that risk is omnipresent. Our reactions are impulsive, based on our mind quickly picturing negative images or incidents of happenings and we choose to play safe. It is not to suggest that fears are unwarranted. Fears play an important role in protecting us from danger or taking undue risks. Fear helps us prepare for eventualities like taking insurance, get vaccinations etc. The issue with living in the shadow of fear is our inability to move out of our comfort zone, not creating opportunities to realize our potential and not participating in joys, fun and adventure which is at a shaking hands distance.

Courage is a conscious action. This means it is a planned decision not a mere reaction. It is true that for self protection, there are times when we become courageous more impulsively than as a result of a decision but these are far, few and in between. True courage is daring to face the challenges knowing fully well that there is a whiff of failure, risk and at times even a threat to one’s life. Soldiers are trained to fight but it is their valor and courage that is on display during war. Similarly ordinary mortals like you and me, are often called to take a courageous stand against brute might, unscrupulous elements, cocking a snook at bribe takers and demanding our rights. The courage we display then is not accidental but a conscious, well understood and a moral stand that we decide to follow.  Courage is guts but it is not necessarily followed by glory and it definitely will leave us with less guilt and more self belief.  Courage is standing up for one’s beliefs, being able to withstand a brute majority viewpoint and speaking up one’s mind, standing by those whose cause you espouse despite massive opposition and standing by one’s conviction however unpopular they may be.

Try these:           

  1. List out 3 -5 issues on which you have very different views, as opposed to those who support it. Write a letter to the editor of the local news paper on each of these issues. Write each letter one week apart.
  2. Outline a concrete plan of action to overcome 2-3 of your greatest fears. E.g. fear of prisons or visiting mental institutions or fear of snake/ reptiles. Execute your plan.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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Bobby Jacob

Bobby Jacob

‘ He hopes to have a positive influence on his readers through his blog posts’

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