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Redefining Bravery: The Misconception of Fearlessness

Mar 21, 2024
An AI-generated image of a woman with her hands stretched out as water comes down.

Hello Fearful Followers,

“I am not brave,” I said as tears filled my eyes. I was responding to a comment that I was brave to take a significant step in my life.

But inside, I didn’t feel brave.

The decision came at a juncture that felt like life or death. Faced with no alternative, it seemed I had no choice but to forge ahead.

Since that moment, I have pondered the true essence of bravery.

Society likes to paint bravery with broad strokes of heroism and fearless feats. It often involves a heroine standing undeterred and unafraid, ready to face any obstacle that comes their way.

However, real bravery, the kind that resonates with most of us, isn’t about the absence of fear but the determination to move forward despite it.

Bravery is doing something while you are afraid. If there were no fear, there wouldn’t be a need for bravery.

Let me say that again, real bravery comes with the decision to move forward while fear surrounds your soul.

Bravery is nothing without fear.

Bravery in the Everyday

Bravery doesn’t always manifest in grand gestures or life-altering decisions.

It’s found in the quiet moments of our lives, in the decisions we make that no one else might see as significant.

It’s the mother who confronts her anxiety every morning to ensure her child feels safe and loved.

It’s the young professional battling imposter syndrome who steps into a room full of seasoned experts, ready to share their ideas.

It’s the individual who, after years of silence, decides to speak their truth, knowing the path ahead may be fraught with challenges.

Misconception of Fearlessness

The misconception that bravery equates to fearlessness does a disservice to the true nature of human courage.

It suggests that to be brave, one must first eliminate fear, a nearly impossible feat.

Fear is a fundamental human emotion designed to protect us. It alerts us to danger, encourages caution, and can even sharpen our senses.

Therefore, bravery isn’t the absence of fear but the ability to act despite of it.

Redefining Bravery

Perhaps it’s time we redefine bravery.

Maybe we should no longer recognize it as a characteristic of the fearless but as a testament to the strength of the human spirit.

It’s the courage to face the unknown, the resilience to keep going when the path is obscured by doubt, and the strength to stand up for what we believe in, even when our voice shakes.

True bravery is embodied by those who, despite feeling cornered by circumstances, choose to take a step forward.

It’s for those who feel they have no choice but to move ahead, yet they take that step, not with a roar, but with a whisper, acknowledging their fear and choosing to walk with it.

Embracing Our Bravery

So, to anyone who, like me, has found themselves whispering, “I am not brave,” remember this: your courage does not go unnoticed.

If you were not afraid, you would no longer be brave.

Every step you take, whether small or uncertain, is a testament to your bravery.

Acknowledging our fears and confronting them head-on redefines bravery for ourselves and illuminates the path for others to follow.

In the truest sense, bravery is a collective journey.

We hold the torch for each other, lighting the way through the darkness, guided by the shared understanding that being brave means being afraid and choosing to move forward anyway.

 


The image was created by Midjourney using the following prompt: An image of a woman in silhouette who is standing with her arms stretched out as water falls down in a dramatic fashion the background is simple as the main focus is her. Canon EOS Mark II 4k.

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