in life

The Courage to be Afraid

I’m afraid.

  • Afraid of never doing enough.
  • Afraid of never being enough.
  • Afraid to break out of my routine.
  • Afraid to take the leap.
  • Afraid to commit.
  • Afraid to say no.
  • Afraid to say yes.
  • Afraid to try.
  • Afraid to fail.
  • Afraid of disappointing others.
  • Afraid of disappointing myself.
  • Afraid of what you’ll think.
  • Afraid of heading down the wrong path.
  • Afraid I’ll never live up to my expectations.

I’m afraid.

Life is scary my friends. It’s even scarier when you try. When you do. When you have the courage to create something better for yourself.

But as the late “Ambrose Redmoon” once said:

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”

Fear can absolutely destroy you, if you let it. But what we often forget is how closely fear parallels success. That when we’re most anxious, worried, and afraid…we’re likely on to something. We’re doing something right. We’re chasing butterflies. Because the only way to get things done is to take a chance. To say yes. To take the first step, even when we’re not sure what the next one will be.

Don’t let myself – or anyone – fool you into believing that we’re not afraid. That we have it “all figured out”. Those people you respect and admire – just like you, there’s times when they don’t have a damn clue what they’re doing. There’s times when they’re absolutely terrified.

The difference? Instead of letting their fear hold them back and cripple them from living a full and complete life, they let fear be a motivator. They keep moving forward, even when they’re not sure why or how.

Here’s to having the courage to be afraid.

Here’s to embracing that fear…isn’t always something the be afraid of.

Add Your Voice



  1. Bravo! I think a lot of people who haven’t yet ‘braved the unknown’ think that people who go off and do their own thing are somehow fearless superheros.

    But we’re not. Going off on your own is not easy. It’s scary. I’m afraid every day, because every day I do something scary. When I get through that I’m prepared for something that’s even scarier.

    Before I know it, I’m doing things I never thought I’d ever have the courage to do.

    • Entrepreneurs aren’t any more fearless than the next guy – the only difference: They let that fear motivate them toward success – rather than let it impede their progress toward doing what they can and SHOULD be doing.

  2. I have a personal mantra I created to help me push through when I feel afraid..”Courage doesn’t mean fearless — it’s OK to be afraid, but it’s not ok to let that fear stop you from doing something your heart tells you is OK.”

  3. Hi Matt – I really appreciate the humility and openness in this post. I have spent a lot of time on fear…I think it is natural when you put yourself out there: you’re afraid of what people think, afraid of what they don’t think, afraid that if you look like you’re afraid, you’ll blow your cover and lose your credibility. Thanks for not being afraid to be afraid – it makes it a lot easier for others.

    • Hey Nacie! It’s silly to believe that anyone…ANYONE doesn’t care what others think. Even if it’s only the people closest to you…your family, spouse, close friends…other’s opinions do matter. I hope that I and others can serve as a continual reminder that – we’re human beings just like the next guy – but that we’re not going to let the fear of ourselves…OR others…hold us back from doing great things.

  4. Sensational. People are so afraid to be in a state of fear, which is why so many people never get to serve their higher selves and reside themselves to a life of depression complaining and negative programming. Use than energy as a driver and see where it takes you, to where I do not know………………….

  5. Entrepreneurship is like standing at the edge of a cliff and knowing that it’s a far way down and that jumping will be scary, but doing it anyway. It’s a hard lesson to learn. The jump itself isn’t hard, but deciding to do it is because we let our doubts get in the way.

    Here’s to plunging ahead!

    • Great analogy, Laura – and so true. Transitions are tricky and take time – successful entrepreneurs are those who can continue to weather the storm(s) that will undoubtedly come while keeping their head up and pressing on. Cheers!

  6. Hi Matt,
    I surfed here searching for inspiration for courage.
    I’ve read several blogs and watched you on vimeo.
    You are an inspiration. Thanks Buddy