“The best way to become successful is to become fearless.” – Janelle Osido
As our President would say… “WRONG!”
This is just my opinion, so take of it what you will, but I do not believe there is anyone who is truly fearless. As living creatures, our bodies use fear to protect us from danger. Fear can be anything from being hesitant to try a new food, getting weak in the knees standing on the edge of a cliff, and most commonly for me, a quiet sense of anxiety when I am unsure of what is going to happen next.
Fear is a normal reaction to things, both big and small, where our bodies say “Hey! Watch out! I just want to protect you!” So even when things are going really good such as: You got a promotion, just met the love of your life, you’re taking your dream vacation, you made a huge break in research, you’re becoming a parent, etc. you might still feel a sense of anxiety…that anxiety is actually fear poking through trying to make sure you are protected.
So that is why I believe being “fearless” is bullshit. Well, at least the term “fearless” is. A common misconception of being fearless is that you’re not actually losing the feeling of fear. But instead, you choose to face fear, choose courage, thank your body for making you aware of the potential danger, and move forward with whatever you are doing. A better word for “fearless” might be brave. You don’t actually lose the natural feeling and sense of fear, but you become ready to face and ensure danger and show courage.
If you truly think you are fearless, you become incapable of being brave and courageous, right? You can’t be both fearless AND brave. So realizing that you are actively recognizing potential negative consequences of a situation and choosing to take a risk and move forward not only makes you brave but makes you cognitively aware of your decision. You use the senses of your body as well as your cognitive mind to rational make decision rather than doing it because “fuck fear! I’m fearless!”
Although that’s what we like to post on social media, in reality, that’s not actually how we came about the decision. If you decide to go sky diving or take a job on the other side of the world, it’s not because you’re “fearless,” but because you sensed that the decision can in some way have a negative consequence, such a failure, loneliness, or in skydiving’s case, death, and act courageous instead.
There is NO shame in admitting you felt scared and rationally made a decision. So instead of plastering Pinterest and Instagram with “FUCK FEAR!” quotes, how about we show the world the strong, brave, courageous people we really are.
xo – J