It has been said that “a brave man is not one who is never afraid. Such a person is only a fool. A brave man is one who though being afraid goes ahead and does what is practical.”

As we look for those who model such brave behavior, it is important to remember that we cannot judge a person by outward appearance or by apparent assets. It is even more comforting to note that many of the most successful people in the world have also been challenged by great fears.

The example they provide is that they move towards full expression and actualization of their talents by facing and overcoming their fears. One author put it this way, “Writing is easy. You just sit down and open a vein.” Gifted artist Georgia O’Keefe provided another example, “I’ve been terrified every day of my life but that’s never stopped me from doing everything I wanted to do.”

Great people are not the only ones who can choose to be bigger than their fears. We all have that potential. We can begin by identifying and utilizing the healthy components of fear such as genuine excitement.

Putting positive focus on feelings of trepidation can fuel our efforts to tackle new and unfamiliar things that attract but scare us. We can recognize fear as a challenge, that once met, provided an opportunity to expand our comfort zone. When we use fear to our advantage in this way, it can become an ally.

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