On Fearlessness

Brass Tack Thinking - On FearlessnessYou probably look up to someone that seems like they’re fearless.

Someone that kicks your ass, tells you to bravely take on the world, looks from your side like they can face and conquer just about anything. They’re tough, they’re ferocious, they’re intimidating. I’ve been called all of those things, and as a matter of fact, it’s the number one negative thing that’s come up on performance reviews in my past: “She scares me. She seems like she’s tough as nails.”

But I get motivation from people like that, too, from the people that seem like they’re a million times more courageous than I am. We admire what we perceive as strength and fortitude in a world that seems like it’s always trying to take us out at the knees.

People like Julien Smith. Or Carol Roth. Or Brian Clark. All of whom look like they can take on the world with one hand while they juggle knives with the other and make it look not only easy, but FUN and the way that all of us are capable of doing it.

I have news for all of you.

I can’t speak for Julien. Or Carol. Or Brian. But I can tell you from my experience…

Fear is critical. We all have it.

Even the ones that look like they regularly jump out of planes or off cliffs or dive into the crazy fray of the world without a second thought.

Fear is part of the game. And it’s essential. Me? I’m scared a lot.

What separates the doers from the dreamers, however, is what they do with that fear. Many people from John Wayne to Dan Rather have been credited with a version of this quote, which I think is absolutely the truth:

Courage is about being afraid, and doing it anyway.

We all seem to think and hope that there are “fearless” ones that are out there that can bring us to center, show us what it is to overcome, but guess what? We are those people. We’re the ones that find equilibrium through our chaos. It’s always been so. And we all somehow even each other out.

Being personal, being scared, is often vilified as being too vulnerable. Too exposed. Where our weaknesses can be discerned and therefore used against us.

And I defy that.

Because being fallible, being vulnerable IS what being human is all about. You, too, are amazing even when you think the entire world is different than you are. When you think that no one must understand at all because they’re so much more brave than you are, so much more willing to take the risks that scare you to death.

They’re scared too. I promise. Which is what makes them good, and hungry, and tenacious. When you’ve faced down the worst case scenario and realize you can live with it, nothing seems impossible.

You too have something worth representing, worth believing in, worth taking a deep breath for and going after. Fear isn’t your enemy, it’s your muse. And you can be every bit as fearless as the people you admire.

Ready? It’s your turn. Deep breath. Now go.

  • Patti DeNucci

    Amber, I loved this article. I’m in a book called Fearless Women, Fearless Wisdom by Mary Ann Halpin (who is launching a fearless movement that has been a blast to be a part of).  Even those who seem “fearless” have fear but they also have the nerve, guts, drive, or inspiration to walk right into it. I am learning this skill little by little. It’s necessary to grow, move through and past difficulties, and to make a real difference in the world.  I really love the word “courage” which refers to the heart.  When we are fearless we look to our hearts.  I look forward to more of your writings.

  • http://www.devacoaching.com Sandi Amorim

    Some days I get so tired of people asking me for tools on how to eliminate fear. They’re so brainwashed by the crap out there, they actually think this is possible, ie: yesterday I saw a sales page that promised to get rid of your fear forever with 3 simple steps. Really??? Just 3 steps and I’ll never be afraid again? What BS! 

    People have often told me I seem fearless, a risk taker…but what they don’t know is I’m scared stiff a lot of the time. I just don’t let it stop me. 

    I’m scared, I feel nauseous…I hit publish anyway.
    I’m a nervous wreck, I feel nauseous…I make the call anyway.

    And so on. It’s neither rocket science nor easy, but it’s so worth the effort. 

    Thanks for the great reminder that we DO NOT have to get rid of fear…no matter what those ‘gurus’ say ;-)  

  • http://www.devacoaching.com Sandi Amorim

    Some days I get so tired of people asking me for tools on how to eliminate fear. They’re so brainwashed by the crap out there, they actually think this is possible, ie: yesterday I saw a sales page that promised to get rid of your fear forever with 3 simple steps. Really??? Just 3 steps and I’ll never be afraid again? What BS! 

    People have often told me I seem fearless, a risk taker…but what they don’t know is I’m scared stiff a lot of the time. I just don’t let it stop me. 

    I’m scared, I feel nauseous…I hit publish anyway.
    I’m a nervous wreck, I feel nauseous…I make the call anyway.

    And so on. It’s neither rocket science nor easy, but it’s so worth the effort. 

    Thanks for the great reminder that we DO NOT have to get rid of fear…no matter what those ‘gurus’ say ;-)  

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  • clarestweets

    Great shot in the arm for a Monday morning and to keep in mind as we Women Entrepreneurs build our businesses.  

  • Valerie Deveza

    I also have my fair share of things
    that I am afraid of.  I guess those are
    the things that make me a real live, breathing human being.  But then fear is not something that should
    keep you off your track, it is something that should drive you to try to work
    harder so that you can conquer that fear.

  • http://www.jump-point.com/ Geoff Reiner

    To me, fear is just feedback.  When we are outside of our comfort zone and learning or experiencing something new, there’s always fear.  Fear that we will fail.  Fear that we will succeed.  Again, it’s just feedback  :)  
     
    Also, I totally agree when you said that we are those people that bring us to center, and show us what it is to overcome – we are fearless!  However, so many people compare themselves to others and don’t feel fearless.  To quote @devacoach:disqus feel scared, feel nauseous… BUT DON’T hit publish anyway.
     
    To simplfy: fear is just feedback.  Fear is just an emotion and emotion is just information and energy. 
     
    Amber, thanks again for the blog.  Fear is something that we all experience and it’s great to get it out in the open.  In order to conquer your fears, you have to face them and step 1 is acknowledgement.  Thanks again!

  • http://www.peterwrightsblog.com Peter Wright

    As one of your male readers (who can imagine you are tough but not ferocious), you are correct. The winners are the people who just do it no matter how afraid they might be.

    I have had my share of scary moments, a couple were close to being my last, but I found in all of them whether it was fear of criticism, looking like an idiot, failure, losing everything, injury or even possible death, the moment I took the first step, took action, the fear became manageable.