Infinite Inspiration: Be Brave

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


By Venkateswarlu Kadiveti
Staff Writer

The mystery behind all human misery is fear, and the secret of human fortune is courage.

Courage is defined as the ability to face challenges, difficulty, uncertainty or pain without being overwhelmed by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action. Mostly we are fearful of things that never happen in our life. In my opinion, to fear or to be unhappy about things in the future is like paying interest on the loan that you did not get.

Having said that, we all have to agree that fear is inevitable. Hence we have to invest in fear and master it in order to accomplish our goals.

Many say that fear is real, but according to our elders, it is only real to the extent of our imagination. With the exception of extreme and unwarranted situations, most common fears that we face in our day-to-day lives are only in our imagination. One of the main reasons for this kind of fear is self-doubt. Speaking in public, voicing your opinions, meeting people at a conference, asking for an opportunity that you have waited a long time for, accepting new challenges, adapting to new changes — these small things over a period of time matter a lot, and we have to recognize them early. We should dissect the reasons behind the fears that are hindering our progress.

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear,” wrote Mark Twain.

The greatest difference between successful people and others is their ability to act in spite of fear. Even the most successful people have feelings of vulnerability, shame and hesitation, but the main difference is that they feel the fear and proceed anyway. The major cure for fear is taking action.

Make a list of your common fears. Just writing down your own fears will give you courage, which you can feel for yourself. This is because you have taken action to do something about your fears. While making the list, do not generalize your fears. Instead be specific. For example, when accepting new challenges, often it’s not the task itself but our own self-doubt about our capabilities, time management and similar concerns that magnify the fear. When asking for an opportunity, it is the fear of rejection that bothers us, more than our capabilities.

Hence, if we identify specific reasons behind our fears, they will become easier to handle. In the first place, if you can manage time and invest it learning new skills, you can handle new challenges effectively. In the second place, you should realize that if you attempt to do what you desire, the chances of failure and success are 50 percent, but if you make no attempt at all, failure is 100 percent certain. Then you should start to take specific actions. Reading, sharing and putting people and circumstances in proper perspective often liberates us from fear.

“Courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless a man has that virtue, he has no security for preserving any other.” — Samuel Johnson

Remember the words above. For all the good you want to accomplish, feel the fear and do it anyway.

Venkateswarlu Kadiveti is a student in the International Dentist Program.