Why Courage Requires Fear

This is a guest post by Jared Latigo. He is a designer, father, husband, writer, and aspiring speaker. You can read his blog or follow him on Twitter.

I’ve recently come in contact with a lot of information regarding courage. It’s a particularly interesting subject to me in many aspects of life.

Being a father, husband, entrepreneur—and generally living in a crazy world—the opportunity to exercise courage seems to present itself on a daily basis. If we’re to be leaders on top of all that, we better understand how this thing works.

Michael Hyatt has said,

    “Courage is the willingness to act in spite of your fear.”

As he points out in his article, courage and fear have a connection, which lays the foundation for what I want to say in this post.

Courage is not the absence of fear but rather requires fear.

There is no need to be courageous if you aren’t afraid of something. Luckily, we’re afraid of plenty of things throughout the course of our day and lives. We wouldn’t be human if we weren’t.

Courage Cannot Be Separated From Action

To illustrate this point further, let me share some information I heard from the “Men of Honor” simulcast put on by Sherwood Baptist Church, makers of the movie Courageous. Ed Litton, pastor of a sister church, spoke at the event and he hit the nail on the head:

  • We were made to be courageous.
  • In trials, our first response is to run.
  • We were made for trouble.
  • Stand for what matters.
  • Courage cannot be separated from action.

So how does this tie into fear? Fear is something that we all have struggled with at some point in our lives. I remember being afraid of what was going to happen as I became a father. I’ve never had any formal “father training.”

I thought, How am I qualified to do this? But my son was born and he’s almost three now. He has yet to steal a car!

I also remember getting married. I was excited, sure—no, I was ecstatic! I had been looking forward to it for years, because I knew when I met my now wife that she was the one.

It wasn’t until I was standing at the altar that I become seriously scared. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life, because I had to overcome the fear of committing my life to her … forever.

Even though I knew it was a truly remarkable thing, that didn’t make me any less scared. (That and I had fractured my nose the night before so this would be the first time she’d seen me with my eyes way too far apart.) I was scared, and it took serious courage to keep my knees from collapsing.

So courage feeds off fear.

What Is Fear?

Ed Litton says,

    “Fear is just a call to exercise courage.”

Without fear, we can’t have courage. We cannot act courageous in any situation unless we have something to protect, something to honor, something to prove, or something to commit to. Fear is a call to action and that action should be courageous.

But lets keep in mind that there needs to be a healthy level of fear. “All things in moderation” is a saying I try to apply to most areas of my life. Don’t let fear take over and cause inaction. That would be cowardly.

The Call to Courage

Be courageous today. Look fear in the eye and shoot it down. Don’t let it take over. Don’t let it win.

As leaders of our homes, businesses, churches, workplaces, etc., we need to understand how important it is to have courage. We were made to be courageous.

Questions: So tell us. What is something that you feared that you were able to overcome by being courageous? And what was the outcome? You can leave a comment by clicking here.