Brave or Afraid?

What are you afraid of? Storms? Spiders? Cotton balls? Death? Failure?

I hate to start your Monday morning with such a dark and dramatic question, but as you look at the week in front of you, I want you to ask yourself, “What is it about this week that scares me? What am I nervous about? What am I afraid of?” 

Ambrose Redmoon once said:

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

This morning, Seth Godin is speaking to you, me, and everyone else, reminding us that fear exists within us all – but that what is feared, what scares us, what absolutely terrifies us, is scarce.

There’s a reason we collectively are afraid to quit a job. To end a relationship. To commit to running a marathon. It’s because, as Godin says, “there’s a scarcity of whatever work it is we’re avoiding.”

But think about the people you admire. You follow. You respect. You look to as mentors. What makes them so admirable? What puts them on a pedestal? It’s the fact that when faced with fear, they haven’t resisted it. They understand that the goal on the other side of their fear is scarce, and embrace that scarcity creates value.

We all want to create something valuable. To leave a legacy. To contribute to something bigger than ourselves. But fear stands in the way, and it isn’t going anywhere. It lingers and will completely take you by the jugular, if you let it.

Don’t. Don’t be controlled by fear. Instead, use it. Understand that courage and bravery is a resistance and mastery of fear, not denying it’s there. 

It’s easy to play it safe, but it’s the things that scare you, that make your heart race, that run circles in your head, that are most worth doing.

As I’ve said before, when you scare yourself a little, you surprise yourself a lot.