We Can’t All Be Fearless

I am not fearless. I am, in fact, the very opposite of that: I am always afraid.

I’m afraid of everything! I’m scared of what I did. I’m scared of what I saw. Of who I am.

I am drawn to fearless people, the confident leaders who make trailblazing look easy. They charge forward because they can’t imagine not doing what needs to be done. They give instructions to others, never imagining that someone wouldn’t take steps they were clearly capable of taking.

I’ve wondered why that’s not me. I see, now, that it will never be me.

Because I am not fearless.

Instead, I have to be brave.

I question every step, agonize over every unseen horizon. I weigh my shortcomings against the ideal. I learn the same lessons over and over and over again, because I’m too afraid to accept that I might have everything I need. What if I’m wrong? I run with my eyes on my feet, hoping I’ll spot the obstacle before it sends me to my ass.

But I run anyway.

I run, I trip, I stagger. I don’t go quickly. But I run.

I think, maybe, we can’t all be fearless. We’re not all given that gift.

But we can choose, every day, to be brave.

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Comments

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  1. Fearlessness is the fool’s folly. To be fearless is to be ignorant of what you’ve overcome. I am very proud of the hurdles I’ve cleared and the lessons I’ve learned in the process.

    I’d rather be courageous than fearless any day.
    Nancy at Spinning My Plates’s most recent post: Embracing uncertainty

  2. Megan says:

    Little kids are fearless. Because they don’t know any better. ;)

    Courage? Being afraid but doing it anyway? Is much more impressive. It’s easy to do things you’re not scared of doing.
    Megan’s most recent post: Midway

  3. Kent says:

    Reading your posts is always like getting a mental massage.
    Kent’s most recent post: Introducing… Our 2013. Finally

  4. Being brave has nothing to do with being fearless. Being brave is taking action despite your fear
    Corey Feldman’s most recent post: The Sexton and the Reaper

  5. Leslie says:

    I’ve been sitting here knowing I knew that quote – “I’m afraid of everything! I’m scared of what I did. I’m scared of what I saw. Of who I am.” Dirty Dancing! Yes!

  6. daniel says:

    Fearlessness is foolishness. It is not the absence of fear that makes a good person, but instead how one faces it. Fear can be healthy. You don’t touch a hot stove because you are afraid of getting burned. It is the irrational fears, or those without basis, such as fear of rejection, that we must face and overcome – at times, yes, by being brave.
    daniel’s most recent post: 2 Toddler Riddles

  7. Nanna says:

    “Fearless” is when I took your brothers skiing when they were real little, and they rocketed down the hills…until Jay crashed and burned. Brave was going down again, even knowing the risk. I think brave is way more admirable.
    Nanna’s most recent post: The Fog Is Starting to Clear

  8. Amber says:

    I’m not sure anyone considers themselves fearless. Because we can all see inside our own heads. We know what lies there. But with other people, we can’t so much.
    Amber’s most recent post: The iPad Mini and the Enviro-Mama

  9. Chrisor says:

    I loved the title of this. It drew me in. Then I read it and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I feel the exact same way (except for the running part). I’m afraid of everything and probably always will be. The fact that YOU are just dumbfounds me! Because from the outside looking in, you look so fearless, so unafraid, like a born leader. Your bravery makes up for a lot then! Be proud of how you come across, especially if it’s not in your nature to be so.
    Chrisor’s most recent post: The LAST thing you would do

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