Personal Story
Fear and courage

Lessons from a 5-year-old

I have two nieces. Helena (6) and Clara (almost 3). They are the two people that I cherish the most in this world, and I’m always amazed by how much they teach me at such a young age.

Children are so authentic and genuine to their feelings that it is always a blessing to talk to them.

When Helena was still around five, her cousin Manu – that was also around her age – had a theater performance to attend to so they asked Helena to send a video to her cousin to encourage her.

Here is what she said:

“Manu, don’t be nervous. Everybody feels like that. But you must have courage. Like when I had to climb all the way up in my vacations at the resort. I was afraid, I was nervous.”

And now here comes my favorite part:

“It’s alright to have two feelings. You are excited to perform but also afraid to do it in front of everybody. It’s alright. Just have courage.”

Are you listening to this? A 5-year-old knows that it’s alright to have mixed feelings about significant accomplishments and that you shouldn’t let fear stand in your way.

Mark Twain has a quote that courage is not the absence of fear. It is the resistance to it. So you are only courageous whenever you can act in spite of the fear.

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear-not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave; it is merely a loose misapplication of the word”

Mark Twain

For me, it doesn’t matter whether the year has changed or not. Every day, every hour, every minute, every second… you have a chance to chose something new for you.

Let the dream take you. Let the excitement speak louder. You are worthy of all the goals you have in your heart. Helena climbed. Manu performed. What is the one thing that you are proud of overcoming?

Unfortunately, it is a “kit.” Illustration co-created with @andresidarta
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Author : Fernanda Sarmento

Fernanda Sarmento is the owner of @mindingwithin, a self-development addicted, writer and digital marketer. With a bachelor in Social Communication and Media Studies and a master in Production Engineering she regards herself as both a meditation and ice cream junkie.

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