Courage and fear

by Brian Schwartz

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the capacity for action despite our fears.” – John McCain

Whether or not we admit it to ourselves, fear is an often excuse for inaction. Living lives rooted in maintaining a ‘status quo’ is hardly exciting. The weight we give to ‘thinking’ in advance about the potential ‘post-decision regret’ is a great example of not living in the moment. And I’m guilty of this.  I have always been one of those who like to ‘keep my options open’.  In this mindset, I never full commit myself to any single path because I desire the ‘option’ to jump to another path if I choose to. It’s especially tough today with so many options available to us.

Living with this indecision is painful.  Consider this quote from The Pond Guy in 50 Interviews; “Life’s intensity of spirit rests on a pinpoint and it hurts staying there.”  To get beyond this, tell yourself: 

Giving all the information I have right now, I’m making a decision to commit to this path. I forgive myself in advance for any pain I may cause myself or others in taking this path. Based on the fact I am making the best decision I can at this time, despite any negative result, I will not live in a space of regret that this was somehow a poor decision. I know in my heart that I’ve made the best decision I could at the time.

The entrepreneurs profiled in 50 Interviews made key decisions based on a listening to their gut, and acting despite any fear of an uncertain result.  In many cases, they didn’t have a clear plan, but had faith they would find a way through.  

I believe that right now, given the uncertainty of our economic times, worry has a lot of people paralyzed from taking the necessary steps to move forward. I believe our massive ‘worry in action’ is digging a deeper hole and we must get beyond our fears if we are going to pull ourselves out of this mess.  50 Interviews offers a framework that you can follow to begin taking steps towards taking action despite your fears.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

wordsbybob March 9, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Hi Brian
Love he John McCain reference. Disregarding any political talk, he endured so much and stayed strong and true to he beliefs.

I thank you for giving me the courage to start a blog. I could have “wished” and “what ifed” for months more. I have two more in my head to start in the future.

rjberryx June 29, 2009 at 2:27 pm

I have started and operated several home businesses that have not gone as well as hoped. Yet, in my mind, I myself am not a failure. Through my experiences with these businesses, I have to wonder if my desire to be independent through owning a business is enough. I have to consider, maybe I am not cut out for entrepreneurship.

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