About Courage

Being courageous does not mean being insensitive to fear. If you do not feel fear there is a good chance that you are a psychopath. Courage is an ability to act despite the fear one may encounter; the act of not allowing fear to disable the mind and body by overwhelming and overpowering reasoning.

Different people respond to fear in different ways. Some people will just freeze while others will try to ignore the source, pretending that whatever scary thing is out there does not exist.

The “Ostrich technique”, of burying head in the sand whenever danger is near, is not much better than being paralyzed by fear, as in both cases nothing is done about the real cause of the fear. If the source of the fear is benign, for instance fear of spiders and poisonous snakes especially in environments where there is none – a person can live life normally, but being paralyzed by or ignoring a real danger can be deadly.

For instance climate change is a real danger, which just recently started showing how devastating its effects can be, but many people still refuse to talk about it and equally do not want to think about it. It is as if they are convinced that if they do not think and talk about it, the problem will somehow go away or resolve itself on its own.

Pretending that an elephant in the room does not exist will not make the elephant vanish.

Regardless of what the fear is — maybe speaking in public, or dark, or flight, or maybe intimacy, rejection, or failure — every person should learn how to confront their fears and how to act despite that fear.

Nowadays, we know that there are really powerful techniques to tackle fear. And if you belong to the group of people who feel limited by your own fears you should just try it for the sake of experiment. One of the easiest and maybe most obvious methods is to expose yourself to your fear.*1 *2 Of course this does not mean that you should go to Iraq or any other dangerous battlefield to learn how to stop being afraid of terrorism, for instance.

Adrenalin response is also not a good thing when dealing with fear. Allowing ourselves to be governed by a rush of adrenalin can be tricky, as we can easily fall in the carefully constructed web of a predator. Our rushed emotional reaction can be exactly what our “opponent” was planning that we would do in the first place.

Any huge emotional reaction regardless of whether it is panic, hate, or thrill can cloud our judgment.

Being frightened is ok, but remember — always think with a cool and calm head. Although, you can have a negative view about the fear, fear is not your enemy, it is your friend. Firstly fear will warn you, it will keep you alert. The fear will amplify your senses and boost your thinking speed. But you have to be careful — as with a sports car on nitro boost, you have to learn how to handle that additional unexpected power otherwise you will finish up against some brick wall.

“Fear is the path to the dark side.
Fear leads to anger.
Anger leads to hate.
Hate leads to suffering.” *3

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