Courage and Fear.
When I think about courage and fear, memories of fear emerge more readily. I remember being terrified when I had unintentionally offended someone in a meeting and then had to do a presentation to the same audience the next hour. I can’t tell you how the presentation went, because it was all kind of a blur. I vaguely remember being told that I was courageous after the presentation. I remember feeling surprised because I didn’t feel courageous at all. I remember feeling like a mess and was simply relieved to be done. But I think this highlights the relationship between courage and fear. Courageous moments are often born out of unexpected moments that don’t feel courageous at all. In this instance, courage was born out of fear.
Life is a paradox, and despite having told myself that since I was a teenager, I feel like I’m constantly relearning that life is a paradox. Brene Brown addresses one of life's paradox in her book entitled “The Gifts of Imperfection.” She writes how courage has become linked with heroism, but at its core, courage is about vulnerability.
Speaking honestly and openly about who we are, about what we’re feeling, and about our experiences (good and bad) is the definition of courage…Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line.
So with that lens it makes sense to me that my courageous moments have come out of fear. It’s when I’m not thinking about being courageous, that courage appears. Though sometimes it doesn’t. But maybe it’ll help me be less afraid of my fear in the future if I remember that courage has been birthed from my fear.
Courage and fear ... fearfully courageous