10 Instances That Show Courage Is Not The Absence Of Fear

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courage is not the absence of fear



“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear”. This beautiful quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt has a lot of power and impact. Quotes are written or said by great men out of experiences.

They are wonderful summaries of life that speak volumes. Courage is when you decide to go ahead with an act or decision knowing the bad consequences of it. But sometimes, life gives you very few choices.

If you want to prove your point, win a situation, stop injustice, or take big risks, you have to show immense courage. The outcomes could be extremely bad or extremely good. You might be very fearful of the consequences. But when you decide to triumph over your fears, you show courage.

courage is not the absence of fear


Courage and fear are closely related. We live in a world where everyone has something to fear. Yet, they show courage and take the risk. You may think that some people have nothing to fear in life and hence they take risks and achieve their goals.

But the fact is that they carry on in the face of fear. While in the process, they are very scared of deep within. But a positive force helps them go on.

Assessment and Judgement that Something Else is More Important

When Franklin Roosevelt was questioned regarding his quote on courage not the absence of fear, he explained that bravery does not mean having any fear. He explained that it actually meant choosing to overcome your fears for something that has greater significance.

Revolutions in the past had never been able to take place if people did not show courage. They were fearful that they might be beheaded and many got killed as a consequence. But yet, courage triumphed over fear in the end.

The great leader Franklin Roosevelt himself showcased these ideals. They made massive changes during his tenure as the Commander in Chief of the United States. He was a brave man who displayed massive bravery during the greatest fears ever known, World War II.

When the war threats were increasing day by day, he managed to establish the New Deal and completely transformed the face of American policy. He also headed one of the biggest military undertakings in history ever to have known.

His actions did not mean that he was not fearful. He was scared of the consequences, of genocide and widespread panic. But he chose to be strong and decided that such actions were more important than being scared. He became a victim of polio at the same time, but he chose to carry on.

This is courage. The courage to carry on in the face of fear. The courage and bravery to do the right thing. The courage to take action because only then would you get justice.

When you weigh the pros and cons of a situation and figure out that the pros are greater than the cons, you decide to move forward. Your assessment and judgment that the pros are better than the cons help you take a brave move.

If certain fears are holding you back, you can comfort yourself with the fact that everyone feels fear. But the achievers are those who have learned to mask their fears and take risks.

courage is not the absence of fear


Franklin Roosevelt also said, “A smooth sea never made a great sailor”. Quite similar to the other quote, this one also preaches you to face the fears and the troubles with courage as success is guaranteed on the other side. Do not let small obstacles put you down.

We also face fears in our daily lives. We choose to show courage to get better results by overcoming our fears. If you are facing injustice in your office and you are fearful of losing your job if you voiced your opinions, you are not showing courage.

You show courage when you decide to speak against the injustice. The consequences could be that you get fired from your job or you get a better post and recognition in the company. The step has to be taken and you need to get rid of your fears.

It is not necessary that you are facing tough challenges every day in the life. Some people show courage in small day to day affairs overcoming their fears and getting fame and success for their confidence. You may the only woman in a conference room, but you show the courage to give your opinions.

Assessment and judgment for the reason of fear are also important. You should assess your reason for fear. If the consequences are far more dangerous than winning, then you need to think wisely.

courage is not the absence of fear


10 Times You Show Immense Courage in Fearful Circumstances

There are instances in your life when you show courage over fear so many times without realizing it. Here are some daily life instances when you let your courage triumph over fear.

Personal Life

  1. You show courage when you decide to leave an abusive relationship. The consequences could be that you have no partner in the future and have to live alone for the rest of your life. The consequences could be that your partner further threatens you or stalks you. Yet, you show courage and walk out to live a life with dignity.
  2. Even when you make a brave decision of marrying someone, you are not without fear. But you decide to overcome your fears together. A person having no courage would rather not marry thinking that it may not work out.
  3. Even when you propose a girl, you show bravery. The girl might refuse or reject you. Yet you overcome your fears and take a chance. You take a chance because you can see a lovely future for yourself if the girl agrees.

Professional Life and Career

  1. When you travel abroad to study a higher degree or course, you show the utmost bravery and courage. You choose to make a living in a strange country with a strange language and culture. It is here that you overcome your fears so that you can make a better future.
  2. A surgeon faces fear before every operation. He might be able to save the patient’s life or might not. But he displays courage and moves ahead. He takes risks because without taking risks, he will never get the chance to save someone’s life.
  3. When you ask your boss for a raise or promotion, you show courage. Obviously you have given it much thought and you feel that you deserve a raise. The fear of being rejected is also obvious in your mind, yet you take a chance.
  4. Leaving a job and trying out a new one is also courageous. You are taking a big risk as you may not like the new job either. You are fearful that in such a case, you might be left with no income. But life is all about taking risks. What if the new job is much better than your old one? You need to try it out to know. This is an act of courage where you overcome your fear.

General Instances

  1. You show courage when you stand up for a person who is being picked on. You are fearful that the bully might hurt you too. But you decide to overcome your fears and think that you may be able to push the bully away. You show immense bravery and courage in such acts and also save the lives of others.
  2. The simplest act of trying new food is also an act of bravery. You obviously fear that the food may taste so bad that you might end up throwing up, yet, you take a chance. You take a chance because you are optimistic that you will love it. This is a small example of courage you often show in your daily lives.
  3. Trying an adventure such as sky diving or bungee jumping is also showing courage. You are too fearful and in most cases, people refuse to even try such brave adventures. But when you decide to overcome your fears and take the plunge, you show courage. Whether you like it or not comes much later. But to decide and go ahead with the action is showing courage by overcoming fear.

When you engage yourself in these small acts of courage in day-day life, you get more confidence and courage to stand up for bigger things in life. If you feel that you lack courage, you should think about these activities that you have been doing. These will boost your confidence and make you feel good about yourself.


We all are optimistic in life to some extent and hence we take chances. We are optimistic about the results when we show courage and take chances. Showing courage does not mean that you are fearless.

It just means that you want to take the risk and go ahead because the fruit of success is quite worthy. You agree to overcome your fears and challenge yourself to do the needful. Great men have made history only because they chose to overcome their fears with courage.

Enjoyed what you just read? Do you have something else to add-on? Please leave a message on our comment section telling us what you understand by this quote.

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