Be Brave

The world can be a very scary place. I don't watch the news, but if I did, on a daily or even hourly basis, I'd witness a bunch of murders, robberies, assaults, plane crashes, fires, and worse. I can relate to the agoraphobes who confine themselves to their own homes, never daring to take a step outside.

We attempt to protect ourselves in all different ways. Some of us learn martial arts. Others purchase guns and other weapons. Some people gain weight as a shield to ward off unwanted attention. And some escape from reality with the help of alcohol, drugs, gambling, and other addictions.

I believe fear is at the root of our most destructive behaviors. Fear of change. Fear of pain. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of loss. Fear of death. Fear of the unknown.

How do we banish fear? Great question. I wish I had a magic formula. (Yes, I have a bottle of wine. That will only mask my fear temporarily.) I think the only choice is to walk through the fear. And this means we must be brave. 

This is my latest mantra. I am brave. I do not let fear stop me.

In the past, fear has put an end to many of my plans. For about a decade following 9/11, our family only vacationed within driving distance of our home in Maryland as I couldn't stomach the idea of flying. (We thoroughly combed the state of Pennsylvania; Clyde Peeling's Reptileland is every bit as awesome as it sounds.) But I'm putting all that behind me.

In a few short weeks, I'll be flying over the ocean in a giant metal bird. I don't know how these massive things stay airborne. This defies every law of the universe. And yet, people do it all the time. So I can, too.

Let's be brave together. Share your feats of courage in the comments below and inspire others to take that next, scary step.