Why is he inspiring? Nelson was a huge part of the anti-apartheid cause in South Africa. He was imprisoned for 27 years due to his attempts in leading the conversion for a multi-racial democracy but he finally triumphed with his mission. For me the biggest lesson he can teach is to let go of bitterness. It would had been very easy for him to have launched a bitter campaign of revenge once he had been released from prison; but he didn’t. Instead, his message was peace and reconciliation!
Quote: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Courage isn’t the absence of fear. It’s the strength to be whom and what you are, in spite of the fear! Here are tips to develop courage and release the fears that block us from accomplishing our goals.
1. Acknowledge the fear. Don’t make excuses and name it something else. You can’t defeat or move through your fear if you don’t acknowledge it. You can fault somebody else, you can call it inconceivable or you can simply admit that you’re afraid. Once you acknowledge that fear is in operation, you can start to alter it.
2. Acquire understanding from the fear. On what am I basing this fear? Choose to see a richer truth. We feel fear when we trust the lies that our ego is telling us. We believe what we have swallowed as truth either consciously or unconsciously. What or who do you trust as truthful?
There’s a story about loved ones that would assemble for holidays and special affairs and prepare a beef roast. Each time they’d prepare it they’d prepare it the same way. They’d take the roast and lop off both ends and set it in the pan. This was a custom that was handed down from mother to daughter to daughter, etc., until one day, one of the daughter’s husbands asked her, “Why do you lop both ends off the roast?” She responded that her mother had always done it that way, “Let’s go ask her.”
Then they went and asked her mother, and she answered that it was because that’s the way her mother had always performed it. They chose to ask grandma and she answered, “Because that’s the way my mother always served it. I don’t do it that way any longer; we only did it that way because the only pan we had was too small to hold it.”
Seek the falseness in the fear that you have harboured. What rules have you determined for yourself? What rules do you follow that are rooted in the past but are now obsolete? Do you prefer to keep living by them? You’re the selector.
3. Dedicate yourself to courage. Announce the deeper truth. Persistently reprogram yourself for success and brave actions. Remember that eminent love and great accomplishments demand great risk.
Sense the fear and do it anyhow. Respect your courage. Take action.
Respect yourself every time you face a fear. Particularly the little ones.
When you have admitted its only fear keeping you back, you can proceed through it like a brave warrior.
Parachutes weren’t shown trustworthy by having individuals carry them around on their backs. The device proved its worth once somebody jumped.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Nelson Mandela used this quote in one of his most famous speeches; although he never claimed it as his own, many have erroneously attributed it to him. It comes from Marianne Williamson but nevertheless, he will be remembered for it and he lived his life in a way entirely consistent with its message.