Sunday, October 11, 2015

Day 2: Brave is the new Black (But It Shouldn't Be)

These days “be brave” is the charge we are extolled to. When did fear fall out of fashion? Don’t get me wrong, I am all for brave. Often I’d wish I were braver - then I wouldn’t have to deal with fear.

But fear is a gift too. (In fact, Gavin deBecker wrote a book called The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence, which you should read. You should also give it as a high school graduation gift.)

Brave lets us run into a burning building to save someone. But how many instantaneous life-or-death decisions do we actually face in our lifetime? More often than not, it’s the sitting around and thinking of the potential consequences, real and imaginary, to far less time-sensitive decisions that causes us to say no.

Fear can paralyze it. It can also propel us. It can make us rethink our approach. Re-examine our motives. Reassess our plan. Fear doesn't say don't jump. It says look before you leap. Fear lets you calculate the risk and then do it anyway, even while you standing there quaking in your fire-retardant boots.

Be brave … and afraid.

Fear is your friend too. 

PS - Despite popular opinion, a "no" can be just as brave as a "yes."

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