Fear is an important and natural emotion. Feeling fear doesn’t make you weak, it makes you normal. As a matter of fact, most people who do brave things are doing them while they feel fear. Being brave doesn’t mean you’re fearless, it generally means you fear less. Or, at the very least, you are managing your fear while you do what must be done in a difficult situation.
Fear can actually be a very good thing. Fear comes from the primal parts of the brain which trace back to our ancestors who used their sense of fear to keep themselves alive. Healthy fears will keep you from walking down a dark alley at night. Your sense of self-preservation knows that’s not a solid idea. Healthy fear also helps you drive the speed limit or avoid doing something illegal that could get you arrested. Fear can be a very good thing!
Some fears are irrational. Fear can take you down a path of worst-case scenarios where everything ends in despair and ruin. Fear of the unknown can keep people from taking risks that might improve their lives or make them more fulfilling. Fear can petrify people and keep them locked in the past where something awful happened, and they live worried that bad things are always going to happen.
Feeling fear is normal and shouldn’t be avoided altogether. The key is to recognize healthy fears and destructive fears and take appropriate actions. Paying attention to healthy fear is just as important as overriding destructive fears. The key is to perceive what type of fear you are experiencing and act accordingly.
Being brave calls for facing all types of fears and doing the next right thing. This could mean discerning that fear is warning you to avoid a catastrophe and quitting before it’s too late or knowing irrational fear is causing you to avoid taking action and pushing through it. Choosing the right action is an act of bravery.
Difficult times call for action that can feel overwhelming and out of your league, but you can face your fears and do what must be done. Feeling afraid is normal and it doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes to be brave. You can take bold actions even when you don’t feel confident. You may not get it perfect but taking action regardless is the most important step.