Can you recall the first time you heard the phrase ‘be brave’ in your life? For most of us, it was on the very first day of our school.
The absence of our caregivers, getting out of our comfort zones and face unknown circumstances might be the first instance where we had to ‘toughen up and be brave’.
The rush of the anxiety of being abandoned and pushed away from our regular cuddle-pad can roughly sum up the term ‘fear’ in our lives, isn’t it?
Although it might be quite easy on part of the parents to say ‘be brave’, it was not that easy on our part to face the new teacher, the new kids or the new classroom at the first glance.
Even if we soaked the tears on the palm of our hands, we were extremely scared and did not want to come back again ever.
So, what does being brave means? Is it just the absence of fear? How do we conquer it? Are there any certain ways of attaining bravery?
Let’s find out here.
Bravery and Fear – The Synonymous Words
Does the statement confuse you? How can bravery and fear can be the same word?
Well, technically and grammatically they are not but being brave and being afraid is the two sides of the same coin.
You need to go through the darkness before you can start to appreciate the light in the tunnel – it might seem quite a cliché but it is a cliché because it is true.
So, if you have been taught since your childhood that bravery simply means the absence of fear, you have been fed into the toxic version of ways of attaining bravery, which might seem very motivating and bright at the surface but this belief will only push towards being engulfed by the fear more and more.
Go Through the Fear – Come Out Fearless
No one can simply stand in the light and conquer the darkness, can they? The Kings who never jumped at the war ground never won a war.
Is there any shortcut ways of attaining bravery? No. There exists only one long way – all you have to do is to feel the fear first.
You have to touch the fear, embrace it and accept the fact that you are afraid of it. You have to settle into it. You have to nest in your fear.
That is the first step towards bravery. The absence of fear only comes slowly after you nestled in your fear.
Conquer the Fear – The Ways of Attaining Bravery
Again, it is wrong to assume that when you are brave, it is a state of the complete absence of fear. But before that, how do you conquer the fear?
You have taken the first step, you have nestled in your fear, you have embraced it. Now what?
For example, you are scared of dogs. In this case, the first step would be to stand still when a dog comes toward you and not run away immediately. Embrace the fear, acknowledge the fear.
Now, for the second step, you can try to stand still and let the dog sniff you off. You are terrified at this moment, all the vicious dog attack details are filling your brain like water fills out a wrecked ship but you stand still and let it sniff you.
Once you have let your fear touched you and you could have felt every possible worst thing, you touch it back. How?
The Ultimate State of Complete Absence of Fear
How do you touch your fear back? Here comes the mind play. Till this moment, your mind was controlling you and playing you like a tape recorder.
Now, you need to grab the steering and reverse it back. When your mind comes at you with all the unreasonable reasons for being afraid, you question it and attack it with logical reasons.
In this stage, you take a deep breath and pet the dog slowly. You reason your fear with the logic that dogs are extremely friendly and once they sniff you off, they mark you as being safe and there is nothing to be afraid of this animal.
You touch it back, slowly pushing back the soldier of fear from your mind. This is the ultimate stage where you go from being terribly afraid to completely in the state of absence of fear – being brave.
Although it might be easy to dictate all the things said above, it takes a lot of time to actually achieve it. It doesn’t happen overnight.
You have to take the tiny step towards your fear, towards conquering it and with each passing day, you understand how to do it a little more, clearer.
Being brave does not automatically mean ‘no fear’ or a state of complete absence of fear; rather it means to remember the fear, bury it and go ahead in life.