“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.” Nelson Mandela.
Perhaps when I was a child and lived a childlike existence I was not afraid. Perhaps there has never been a day when I’ve not felt some form of fear. I used to reject the notion that I was afraid. I didn’t like to admit that I even had fears. I thought fears represented weakness; something I did not like to identify with. Then I decided to feel; really feel; it most certainly was a conscious decision for me. That was hard because I realized so many of my feelings and thoughts were grounded in fear. Many still are.
There is a list of things that I am afraid I may loose; afraid of things I may not get; afraid things will never change; afraid things will change; the list goes on.
I remember being afraid of jumping out of an airplane. There I was at the edge of the plane; terrified. I jumped. Some things in life are still like that for me. When I speak to groups; I am usually afraid. I do it anyway. I make the joke that I’m the most introverted extrovert you will ever meet. I prefer small intimate groups. Public speaking has always put butterflies in my stomach. I push through the fear and do it anyway.
That fear may always be present. I have accepted this. What I choose not to accept is allowing that fear to keep me from jumping; into whatever is next in my life.
As a tribute to President Mandela, who I make no assessment of his political views but rather admire him for one simple reason; his courage. He was imprisoned. He used this time to expand his mind. Would I have had that courage? Would I have been able to stand firm in my beliefs had that been my fate? How many of us create our own self imprisonment with our fears? How many of us have the courage to feel the fear and do it anyway?
What leap of faith can I take today? Is there some area of my life that fear has held me hostage? Today is a fine day to feel the fear and do it anyway!
“It always seems impossible until its done.” Nelson Mandela.