“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
It’s almost Fall and the season will be changing soon. Some people may find themselves excited about the end of summer activities, which are limited due to safety concerns related to COVID-19 and this new variant. For others, it may be a time centered around sadness, feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, and fear. So how do you execute courage over fear?
Courage Over Fear
The beginning of the pandemic was one of significant challenges. I found myself, at times, fighting back feelings of fear and anxiety. I paused to question whether I would let feelings of fear and worry consume me or encourage myself to execute courage over fear. As a Mindset and Wellness Coach, I found myself engaging in some practices that I typically teach others. I recall sitting on the couch in my office, taking time to intentionally do some deep breathing to relax, and engaged in a period of transcendental meditation, a technique used to recharge one’s mind to create a more positive state of mind. This created opportunity for me to clear my thoughts, allowing me to realize that while there will always be moments of testing, it was imperative that I stepped up my game and made courageous decisions because both fear and courage can be habit-forming.
Fear is described as an unpleasant emotion caused by our belief system. If we make a habit of succumbing to feelings of fear, then we will become paralyzed by it. The secret to developing courage is found in facing our fears. As we face our fears, we build confidence, and that confidence helps us execute courage over fear.
As situations that cause emotional distress arise in our lives, fear is one of the most powerful and can substantially impact our mindset and decision-making ability. Rather than allow fear to control your decisions, you have to determine what is accurate and imagined. I was challenged to remain courageous and look at what was real and valid in my situation. I needed to make decisions based on the facts and not let my emotions dictate my thoughts and actions.
How Fear Impacts our Mindset
As we face challenges and potential setbacks, our brains will react in predictable ways. Our brain will immediately respond to signals from the amygdala instead of taking the time to process that which we are facing. This is why it is imperative to find a calming remedy that works for you, which creates needful moments to process what you are dealing with. Rather than overacting, we can position ourselves to process the events we encounter rationally and remain courageous in the very face of fear.
A Paradigm Shift to Overcoming Fear
Taking a needful pause at the beginning of the pandemic allowed me to recall past fearful situations and how I addressed them. These and other practical steps strengthened my ability to release fear and become courageous in the face of the fear. Trust me, it was and continues to be nothing less than a walk of faith. Some of the strategies I learned along the way which are valuable in remaining courageous are:
- Execute Courage Over my Fear: Sometimes attempting to avoid situations that cause anxiety or fear result in stagnation. When you expose yourself to your fears, you create effective ways to overcome them.
- Be True to Yourself: It is extremely important to take needful moments to assess your fears in an effort to identify strategies to overcome them. It is essential to face unsettling emotions which can lead to anxiety and unwanted stress.
- Faith and Spirituality: Faith and spiritual practices can provide excellent insights to cope with everyday stress. Connecting with faith groups or empowerment sister-circles provide a great source of support.