On Courage and So-Called “Fearlessness’

Cour·age ˈkərij/ nounthe ability to do something that frightens one.“she called on all her courage to face the ordeal” strength in the face of pain or grief. There’s all this marketing about fearlessness and I find it quite off the point. The issue to me isn’t to become fearless, but rather, recognizing the fear, breathing it, […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Cour·age 
ˈkərij/ noun
the ability to do something that frightens one.
“she called on all her courage to face the ordeal” strength in the face of pain or grief.


There’s all this marketing about fearlessness and I find it quite off the point. The issue to me isn’t to become fearless, but rather, recognizing the fear, breathing it, and then releasing it. Too many times we fail to take pivotal steps (in a relationship, at work, in a business deal, etc.) because we’re afraid. We wonder if we’ll be hurt, if we will suffer, if we’ll fail. Yet suffering and pain are all part of life. You cannot escape difficult situations and emotions. And as we grow in either running a business or a company, we realize that failure is our greatest teacher. It is nothing to be ashamed of. 

I’ve also yet to see anyone experience real growth in the face of great comfort. I believe we grow from discomfort and from our courage over our apprehensions. If you find yourself backing down from something you need to do, but are afraid, please take courage and take heart. 

Acclaimed silent film actor Dorothy Bernard said, “courage is fear that has said its prayers.”  

Nelson Mandela remarked, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

To me, life isn’t about becoming #fearless as much as it’s about sitting with the fear, breathing it in, and then “going for it,” regardless of that fear. Fear is just another teacher along life’s path.  It shouldn’t be the leader. Too many times we back down, when right at our fingertips is the key to unlock all that’s been holding us back. All we really and truly need is just “20 seconds of insane courage.”  

There’s a great movie called “We Bought a Zoo.” It is heartwarming and inspirational. Give it a watch.

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous) the movie is an awesome story, based on a true story, about recently widowed single dad, Benjamin Mee, who decides his family needs a fresh start, so he and his two children move to the most unlikely of places: a zoo. With the help of an eclectic staff, and with many misadventures along the way, the family works to return the dilapidated zoo to its former wonder and glory.

The movie contains one of my favorite movie scenes. OSCAR® Winner Matt Damon (as Benjamin Mee) says to his on-screen son, “sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.”

So watch this clip and see if you, too, can push past fear, and embrace “20 seconds of insane courage,” so you can manifest your wildest dreams. I look forward to hearing how it turns out!

Contact me here to tell me all about your “20 seconds of insane courage!” I can’t wait to hear how things went!

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    COURAGE – A MATTER OF THE HEART

    by Melissa Kiss
    Community//

    On Confidence

    by Tonyalynne Wildhaber
    Community//

    The Courage Warrior

    by Amanda Parker
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.