Courage over fear: ride the storms
If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm
Winston Churchill once said “fear is a reaction, courage is a decision.” Then why do so many of us, perhaps most of us, fall victim to paralysis from fear? Why do we face fear and turn ourselves in as its prisoners? Don’t get me wrong, being afraid is even healthy in some ways as it helps one focus in serious or survival situations. What’s not ok is letting fear reduce you to a shell of yourself. You age faster, you look exhausted, you talk scared, you justify the past, you plan to status quo, you conform to norm, you deny you.
We choose, I repeat, choose, to give up on the opportunity to unravel our talents, our gifts to the world around us and let fear lead our proverbial suicide mission.
“Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.” — Benjamin Franklin
Some of us have lived extraordinary lives maybe not in the achievement of power and wealth but in surviving shocks, tragedy and pockets of intense suffering. Some have lost loved ones, some have lost money, some have lost fame and reputation, some have lost health and well-being, some have apparently lost nothing superficially but are gradually bleeding underneath in more ways than we may know. Many are living their secret storms! So, no, you are not alone.
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” — Ernest Hemingway
Believe in this wholeheartedly! Again, you are not alone. Some of us will get punched in the face by life, others will get punched, elbowed, kicked and then some. At that point you may decide to assume the fetal position or to crawl and limp and moan your way out of the muddy ditch life let you to rot in.
But how do you heal and mend? How do you come back stronger? What will prevent from getting obliterated by the storm? Courage is authentic and is a direct result of giving enough of a damn about something in life. What do you give a damn about? About your family, your child, your community, yourself? All of the above? Then commit to an end and fight back, not randomly and violently but in a calculated cadence of building yourself up emotionally. Rest will follow. If your courage is real and the commitment systematic, you will figure out know how to start a business, overcome depression, put food on the table, get healthier and smile from the inside instead of smiling for the eyes upon you.
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” — Anaïs Nin
Storms in your life will come and go. There maybe one brewing right now and one possibly abating as well. Some will be mild, some will ruthlessly swoop you up with all the indiscriminate debris without caring for your resume, your intentions and your aspirations. Build the courage to accept these storms as natural realities and plan to ride them out past your perceived breaking points but at no cost allow for self-doubt to seize your existence. Life will reward you for calculated courage and punish you for blanket and irrational cowardice.
“God will not have his work made manifest by cowards.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
What are you waiting for?