Your Life Quality Depends On It

By Maurizio A. Bisogno


If you’ve got the feeling that something is missing from your life and you don’t know what it is; if you have the perception that life is passing by and that what you get is not really satisfying, have you ever wondered that this could be related to a lack of courage? As Mark Twain once wrote “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear not absence of fear.” In this article I am going to show how courage is not exactly the absence of fears but it is the awareness of your fears and the ability to face them, focusing on what that means in your daily life.

One of the most common symptoms that your dissatisfaction in life derives from a lack of courage is revealed in situations that we can describe as follows: you have been wishing for things to happen in your life and when the opportunity rises, you stop pursuing them; or you have been dreaming and desiring certain situations and when you are on the brink to harvest the results, you renounce to them. Or you have prepared yourself well for some action to be taken, and when the time comes to act consequently, you panic and find yourself still, unable to go ahead, you retire yourself and turn to your ordinary and comfort zone. You are confronted to a failure before even attempting to succeed.

Let’s look a this a bit better. The underlying fears keep you away from the actualization of your wish because

Misha is a friend of mine since we were teen-agers; he told me of when he used to try to ring the girl he was deeply in love with. He used to sit next to the phone and stare at the dial pad for long minutes. He would even dial the number but he would hung up at the first ringing tone. He desired so much to talk to this girl; she had even given him her phone number. He was on the brink of realizing his dream of asking her out, but he would never know her answer. For weeks he tried to pick up his phone and ring her but every time he failed to complete the act that would mean the realization of his intention.

As much as courage is a powerful virtue, so the lack of courage is a terrifying condition.

In a much less dramatic aspect, courage is required even in very ordinary life situation, as in when you decide to get out of your room and walk to the shop down the road, cross those strangers on the street, put into practice a skill that you studied for so long.

What is really happening inside yourself when you experience this absence of courage is quite complex, but a trait surfaces without doubts: you are assailed by unknown fears; you are not aware of the fear that is rising inside your mind and stopping you from taking the next step.

We were children once, and amongst all the good things and memories that childhood has brought to us, there is fear. Past experiences, which carry unresolved fears, will accompany us all our lives if we do not decide to face them. They will come to the surface of our emotional system and stop us from acting, from achieving, from being happy.

It is common sense that not all fears are “bad”. If a truck is coming toward you on the street while you are walking, fear will save your life. But if that fear overwhelms you, takes over your thinking and motor systems, then that same fear can kill you by making you unable to think what to do and/or by making it impossible for you to move.

Remember when you were a child and you had in your heart to obtain something good from your parents, but you were afraid of asking? What that fear was doing was to keep you away from the negative reaction that you think your parents would have upon your request. You can see now how the feared expected reaction is what you are afraid of and the emotion, that takes you over when trying to act your request, is protecting your from that possible reaction, but – and this is the damaging part – it is keeping you away from what you want, from the steps that will bring you to the realization of your wish.

Take the case of Misha above, what is his real fear? Is he afraid of the phone? Or is he afraid of the voice over the phone? Or, which is more likely, he is afraid of a rejection? Does this fear have to do with the image that he has of himself? These type of questions provides us with an important understanding: if you lack courage in taking an action ask what you are afraid of, listen to your soul and heart and face those fears, evaluate them. Are those fear justified? If yes, what can you do about them? Are those fears simply the consequence of past negative experiences that have marked you too much, narrowing your world of possibilities? In this case you should consider some approach that would help you to get rid of the influence they still have on you.

We are essentially a learning organism; we learn from everything and we should learn from our fears that they are natural and also that they are a guide to acting. They teach us how to handle situations which could be dangerous for us, according to our concept of danger. We are afraid of the fire only when we do not know how to handle it and we know the same fire is our friend if we have the right approach to it.

So, courage rises from the ability to learn which are our fears and from the ability to handle the same fears in the right way. It is healthy to be afraid of sitting behind a car steering wheel if we haven’t a clue of how to drive, but it is certainly debilitating to be assailed by fears after we have received the proper training and we are sitting in a safe car, on a safe road.

You see then how courage, fear, learning, motivation, and action are linked in structure which include mind, emotion and action.

Behind any desire, wish or action there is an essential aspect that, if considered consciously, will bring courage to you; I am talking about your motivation. If your motivation is weak, or, worse, if deep inside yourself you know that your motivation is wrong, then courage will not come to help you, but fears will come to stop you.

Furthermore don’t think that you are alone in this world. Expand your knowledge. There hasn’t been a better time to access knowledge. Go to your library, or even better, access the Internet and search for courage relate articles, video, life coaches. Buy a relevant magazine. It seems banal, doesn’t it? But it takes from your part the courage to look for courage! I mean, once you know that your life is not what you want because you do not understand the role of courage in bringing happiness to you, look for relevant information about it. Knowledge is power without doubt. Relevant knowledge is the real power. There is no need to overwhelm yourself with information: all that you need is the pertinent information that will guide you toward the right actions. Understanding about courage and its relation with fears is your first key. Then you will learn how to handle fears. Add to this the personal work on finding out the motivations behind your desired action and you will acquire the essential tools to transform your life into the one you really want.

Last but not least, if you are a believer, ask for the help from your spiritual guide. I am serious about this. We human often think that our knowledge, our strengths, our abilities will come from our efforts only. Let me tell you that this is the wrong attitude. Life is much more than “us”. There are positive forces in the universe, around us, which can be directed to help us and to inspire us, to lighten our path, to bring us where we want to go, but we need to ask their intervention in our life, we need to tune in with those forces. Once we understand this, not only our life, but the whole planet earth life will benefit from it and a brighter future will shine onto us.

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