I remember reading a Superman graphic novel (comic) with a full-page back cover image of Superman in a fight, with these words above it:
Courage is not the absence of fear.
That image and these words have stayed with me. But they feel like the first half of a sentence; if courage is not the absence of fear, what actually is it?
In search of answers, I google it and found these quotes:
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”- Nelson Mandela
“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else is more important.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” –Dorothy Bernard.
Our fears can be big; the national cost of living crisis, political uncertainty and instability, the global economic crisis and climate change. Or they can be smaller; can I afford this, will this go well, will they like me?
Whatever the scale of our fears may be, fear is still fear, and it can have a paralysing and destructive impact on our lives.
I regularly find myself anxious and worried about complex or significant things that I need to get sorted out but that I just don’t want to do. I get caught between my fears about it going wrong and my fears about what happens if I don’t do it. Usually, I just end up putting it off.
There are times when I can remember what I have done before and what I am capable of doing. It can help if I think about what it will be like after I get this sorted. Breaking things down into smaller chunks helps, as well as working out what are the things I am concerned about but can’t change and what are the things that I can influence and affect.
I am no Superman, but there have been times that I have managed to muster the courage and determination to get on and grapple with the things that cause me fear and worry.
For me, courage is not the absence of fear, it is the willingness to face your fear.
You can quote me on that.