Looking around us, it is easy to see how in our time the concept of courage does not enjoy, in general terms, too much consideration.
Courage is a quality that we often share with the concept of heroism, referring to the exceptional gestures of those who risk their lives for a greater good or for the life of another person.
But courage is rarely praised as a virtue to be cultivated and practiced on a daily basis.
On the contrary, what seems to matter most today is the concept of safety. We are often advised not to take risks, not to make risky moves.
Remain in a position of comfort, do not expose ourselves, do not talk to strangers, be careful and alert, suspicious of others. Stay safe and don’t take unnecessary risks.
There is, however, a not insignificant secondary effect in all of this: recognizing too much importance in your life to stability and personal security can, in fact, induce you to lead a life of mere reaction, one of maintenance rather than development. active.
Instead of planning your goals and pursuing them in the way you set out, taking on a role of absolute responsibility in your choices and actions, you end up on the contrary playing defense, staying safe and trying to repel the attacks on the shell you have created.
So you continue to stay in your job, even if it doesn’t satisfy you, just because it is a safe place, without even making an active effort to find another one that really stimulates you and makes you feel alive.
You continue to stay in a relationship in which love and passion have long since vanished, without worrying about how to revitalize it, just because the relationship has been going on for years now and there is no need to question it.
You prefer to go with the flow of events, rather than trying to assume your responsibilities and determine their course. You prefer to stay safe, don’t expose yourself, adopt a passive attitude and hope that the winds of life will lead you in a favorable direction.
It can be done better? I really think so.
Face to face with fear. Overcoming one’s fears to learn to love
The fundamental step to take full responsibility for our existence is to acquire courage, to live without fear.
I’m not talking about the courage to jump with a parachute or to dive from a rock overlooking the sea.
I speak of the courage to face all those fears that hold you back from fully expressing yourself and affirming your personality in an absolute way, without masks and fears.
I’m talking about the ability to face the fear of failure. Fear of rejection. The fear of being humiliated. The fear of being alone. The fear of not making it.
We all have these fears, without exception. What differentiates us, however, is the will to recognize them, accept them and face them.
Most people ignore these fears, reject them, do not accept them, simply deny them, find justifications.
If you don’t speak in public it is because you have nothing to say, of course. If you don’t talk to a stranger it’s just because you might be being rude, sure.
But think about it, how would you live your life if you weren’t afraid?
Won’t you get out of your safe zone? Wouldn’t you more easily express your ideas instead of conforming to those of others? Wouldn’t it be easier to open yourself totally to your neighbor?
Think about how you would live your life more fully if your fears didn’t hold you back, think about how you could grow and develop as an individual.
To do this, all you need is courage.
WHAT IS COURAGE?
But what exactly is courage? What does it mean to live without fear?
Courage, simply, is not the absence of fear: on the contrary, it is the ability to act despite feeling fear.
Courageous people certainly feel fear, but they don’t allow fear to paralyze them.
Courageous people recognize, accept and confront their fears, even if they terrify them.
And this helps them to acquire more and more courage, as in a virtuous circle: the more you face your fears, the more courage you gain.
Conversely, those who lack courage have a tendency to feel relieved and as if freed from a burden when they manage to avoid their fears: if they have been able to escape a fear, in fact, the resulting relief acts as a reward. to their enterprise, reinforcing their shyness and lack of courage even more. We enter a vicious circle.
These fear-avoiding attitudes produce permanent long-term effects.
You get older and you begin to take your fears for granted, your fears end up belonging to you and become an integral part of your personality.
Then try to rationalize your behaviors and justify your fears.
You have a family to support and you cannot take risks, you are too old to be able to look for a new job, you cannot quit smoking because by now you have taken the habit, you cannot lose weight because of your genes.
Then five years go by, then ten, then twenty… and you realize that after all your life hasn’t changed much in this period of time.
Regrets emerge and dissatisfactions make their way.
So you try to convince yourself that you just have to live the remaining years in the most peaceful and normal way possible until you find yourself underground, where you will finally reach total safety and complete stability.
Can you say that you have really lived? I’m afraid not.
Isn’t there a little voice within you that tells you that you are not living the life you would like to fully live?
That after all you too have the possibility and the right to express yourself fully as an individual?
So why don’t you try to listen to it and try to understand what you can really do to make your dreams come true and lead your existence to the best of your ability?
Like everyone, you too can do it, you too can live with awareness and develop fully as an individual who pursues his own goals and assumes his responsibilities, rather than passively reacting to the events of his own existence.
Everything is in your hands, in your will to stand up as the architect of your destiny and face the fears that are holding you back today.
How can you do? How can you face your fears?
Well, first of all try to identify your fears, to give a name to what is holding you back, try not to deny your fears, on the contrary try to recognize them, without any judgment, simply try to become aware of them.
Identify what prevents you from living freely, without strings and brakes.
It could be the fear of rejection or abandonment, the fear of failure, the fear of not being understood or any other fear that today does not allow you to fully express yourself as a free and responsible individual.
Name your fears.
Getting out of fear: Observe the emotional child within us and stop the identification
FROM RECOGNITION TO ACTION.
When you are able to identify the fears and fears that paralyze you today, the next step is to face them, decide to cross the threshold of the comfort zone and take action despite the fear.
Choosing to take your destiny into your own hands.
The key point to keep in mind in this regard is that in order to overcome your fears you do not need to take immediate drastic action.
Courage is basically a mental skill that can be learned and cultivated and which, as such, requires determination and perseverance to be assimilated and become part of our personal baggage.
If you want to develop your muscles, you certainly don’t go to the gym trying to immediately lift 100 kg on the bench: in the same way to overcome the fear of speaking in public, for example, it is certainly not necessary to stand up and speak in front of a audience of 1000 people at the first opportunity.
The real secret to overcoming fear and gaining courage is to do it with determination and constancy, but at the same time gradually, without jumping into desperate leaps in the dark.
Taking up the example of the fear of public speaking, you can begin to force yourself to speak in front of a group of 7-8 people, possibly friends and acquaintances, and then gradually move on to a wider audience.
Once you are able to speak in front of 20 people, it will be easier to speak in front of a group of 30 or 40 people, and so on until you reach a much higher number of people.
Gradually, training your courage in small steps, but with commitment and perseverance.
You will soon realize how each little success will help build confidence to take the next step with even greater enthusiasm.
The exact process by which you build your courage is not so relevant: what really matters is that you do it with awareness.
Just as your muscles atrophy if you do not persevere in training, so your courage dissolves if you do not constantly commit yourself to challenging yourself and facing your fears.
If you don’t train your courage consistently, you automatically strengthen your fears: there is no middle ground.
Always try to remind yourself that fear is not your enemy.
It is a compass that can direct you to the areas where you most need to grow.
When you encounter a new fear within you, try celebrating it as a magnificent new growth opportunity.
Where will your courage take you?
The answer is that it will allow you to lead a much more intense and meaningful existence.
You will begin to live fully, as a responsible and authentic individual.
You will be able to discover and develop your talents, pursue your dreams and achieve your goals.
You will be able to live with awareness, instead of reacting to events you will have the opportunity to guide them and live them intensely.
What you do with your life does not depend on your parents, your boss or your partner.
It depends on you and on you alone, it is only in your hands.
Do not miss the opportunity to embrace the exciting adventure of life.
You will experience failures and disappointments, it will be inevitable.
But these will be the milestones along the path of a life lived with courage and will open up an infinite space of joy, fullness and happiness.
So go and face your fears, build up the courage to pursue your dreams and celebrate your existence by living it to the fullest of your possibilities.