On Fear And Bravery (Meaningful Action)

“Did you know that people get nervous before they do something brave?”
—My Daughter

Fear does not really go away.

It is part of our nature.

It exists to warn us of risk.

It exists to tell us that we are in danger.

We experience fear when there is a threat to our physical, psychological, or emotional well-being.

Meaningful action is always frightening because it is always risky.

It always has some element of danger, even if only with regards to our reputation, social status, or finances.

Meaningful action is always threatening because it is synonymous with change and change can be terrifying.

If we are waiting for fear to subside before we take meaningful action, we will never take meaningful action.

That which is brave is brave because it is frightening.

There is no bravery without fear.

We are all afraid of something.

Fear is not a choice.

Fear just is.

Bravery is the choice.

Bravery is the variable.

The choice is whether we are going to avoid or embrace that which requires bravery, whether we are going to be afraid and do nothing or we are going to be afraid and do something meaningful.

Bravery is measured in meaningful action.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Kogen Dojo Self Defense Academy where he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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