Without Fear There Is No Bravery
After pummeling each other in the octagon, two exhausted UFC fighters hugged and congratulated one another on a good fight. One remarked, “I was scared to fight you, but without fear there is no bravery.” Damn, that hit me, so I sat with it for a minute. Watching this badass admit he was scared was very cool, but he had a good reason to be fearful, there was another badass trying to knock him out. Fortunately, most of us aren’t facing that type of fear. So many of our fears live in our imagination, not in reality.
I feared what everyone would think of my addiction, that they would look down on me. I feared a life without alcohol, that I would no longer have fun. I feared my feelings, that I would actually have to feel them. The thought of showing my perceived weaknesses was unacceptable, I was too proud, too strong. Turns out, admitting these things and saying them out loud showed more strength than I ever had before.
That UFC tough guy admitted he was scared, but he didn’t back down from the fight. That’s bravery. I was terrified of all the things I mentioned above, of being vulnerable, but I finally stopped hiding and faced my demons. That was bravery, and I’m proud to accept it now. At first, I didn’t understand when others told me I was brave and courageous because I was still scared, so it was confusing. As time passed and I continued to face those demons, the fear subsided. I didn’t back down; I’ve continued to fight the good fight. I get it now.
Maybe you’re one of the few that actually gets in the ring to fight. Maybe you’re fighting a major illness, disorder, or a dysfunction in your life. Or maybe you’re battling addiction like me. You may be fearful and that’s okay, just don’t run and hide like I did for so long. Stay and fight.