Courage in the Face of Fear
I once heard a wise person ask, “Must a person be bold and daring to have a fulfilling life or is it better to err on the side of caution and lead a safe and predictable life?” I don’t know who asked the question, but the message rings true in my ears.
What describes a bold person? Well, perhaps it means being brave, courageous, confident, audacious, and fearless. Whereas being shy and passive usually means being boring and routine. The difference between being bold and being shy is huge. Being bold does not mean being reckless or obnoxious. Being bold means being more confident, seeking adventure, and taking risks. Bold individuals stand out from peers and business competitors. Most people who live vibrant, rewarding lives reflect the character traits of boldness.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Those who are bold do not wait for life to happen, they go out and create it. Confident people tend to be more successful because they aren’t hiding in the background of life.
One example of being courageous versus being hesitant would be performing in front of people. When my daughter was younger I considered her to be more shy and reserved. I remember a time when she was so nervous to play the piano in front of an audience. One Sunday in church she was asked to accompany the choir because no other pianists were available. She was deathly afraid of messing up, everyone was looking at her, and everyone was depending on her to carry the tune. After she stressed over whether she should say yes or no, she decided it would be a great learning experience and that she should accept the challenge. For several days she practiced very hard in order to prepare herself for the following Sunday.
When Sunday finally came she was so nervous her head started to hurt and her palms were sweaty. She walked up to the front of the classroom, sat down on the piano bench, and placed the sheet music carefully on the stand. Her hands trembled with fear. The chorister looked over at her and gave a little nod, indicating that she should begin playing the introduction of the song. As everyone started to sing she felt more and more nervous, but, by the end of the song, she was playing with confidence. She had accomplished what she had practiced so hard for. She had been able to play the song perfectly!
What my daughter taught me that day was, if we don’t take risks and challenge ourselves, we will never accomplish anything in life. Hopefully we won’t wait for life to happen, but rather go out and create life.