I'm sure most of you who are reading this have heard others extolling the values of fearlessness. You must have read quippy one-liners, quotes and even entire blogs on how to be fearless. How fearless people succeed and how you have to be able to take risks if you also want to succeed in life. How to be brave you have to be fearless.
I think telling people to be fearless is a mistake. And to be quite frank telling someone to be fearless is possibly the worst advice you could give. Because fear, like everything else, is necessary in the right quantity. Fear makes you connected to reality.
Never not be afraid!! - Grug (The Croods)
Before you think I'm one of those pessimistic idiots who cowers from fear of everything, let me clarify myself.
Fearlessness means a lack of fear. To be fearless about doing something means that either
you do not know the consequences of your actions or you do not care about the consequences of your actions. Not knowing the consequences of your actions means that you are ignorant of what it is that you are doing or about to do. And not caring about the consequences means that you are apathetic. My life has given me enough experiences to say that both are equally dangerous to you and to everyone around you. And that is why I say don't be fearless. Instead
To be Fearless is to act without fear.
To be Courageous is to act despite fear.
Fearlessness is acting without fear. Courageousness is acting despite fear. And that is what makes good people great. To know the consequences of your actions, to be afraid, to be utterly uncertain despite your greatest efforts and still take action.
Courage is the among the most desired quality in people in general and easily the single most important quality in a leader. Courage is not always acting in the face of the unknown. It is also what makes people get up and keep moving when life knocks them down hard. Courage is also what makes people act whilst being terrified of failing.
Whenever uncertainty looms ahead this is the quality expected of in any leader. To be fully cognizant of the issue at hand and yet be courageous enough to take a risk is what marks a great leader.
So there you go. My take on why it is important to be Courageous and not just be fearless. What do you think?
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