Fear and Courage

Fear and Courage

Ski Jump Girl
“Courage is the ability to let go of the unfamiliar.”



Nancy kept saying in our group that she needed to ‘get rid’ of her fear. It was like a mantra for her. Every momentary flicker of fear that registered in her awareness was to be eradicated by her shear force of will.

She had shared her life story with us and we knew she had survived detainment by a foreign government, the loss of loved ones and major moves across the globe. Her stories evoked in us a sense of her courage, but her mantra tethered her to her fear.

As a coach, people come to me wanting to exterminate their fear. The presence of fear is a shameful experience for some. From my work with Nancy I have learned it is far more productive to increase courage than it is to try and destroy fear.

On Amazon, I found 33,000 books about fear and only 22,000 about courage. The two concepts are inextricably linked. You cannot have courage without the presence of fear. I do not need courage to do the dishes, because I’m not afraid of them! But I do need courage to say I’m sorry, because I am afraid of the other person’s reaction to me.

Sometimes we look back over our history and forget just how courageous we are. When I look at my past I can easily re-experience the times when I was fearful. My memories can flood me with the exact same physiological responses I had the first time.

What I fail to remember is what courage feels like. Every time I was afraid and acted, that was courage – but what I remember most is the fear. We all have countless courage stories. How often do you tell your stories from the perspective of courage?

This week, try telling one of your fear stories from the perspective of courage. As you tell your story, honor the presence of fear, but make the main character of your story your courage. Pay attention to your own reaction and to the reaction of those who hear your story.

And, if you want to see and experience real courage, click on this link to get a rush of courage! Girls first Ski Jump