THE BLOG
01/25/2016 05:01 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

I Learned About True Courage From My Daughter

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It sometimes paralyzes her, causing her to want desperately to retreat. At times, fear grips her so strongly, that she is unsure if she can even take that next step. But, remarkably she always does. She never hides or withdraws. Rather, she pushes past it, refusing to allow it to define her or her experiences. She is incredibly courageous.

Fear grips her so strongly, that she is unsure if she can even take that next step.

Severe anxiety is a heavy burden for a 20 year-old college student and, my daughter has been in its grasp since she was in the 5th grade. At times, even little things are terrifying for her. Yet somehow, she allows that fear to be with her, but not stop her. I have learned so much from bearing witness to her struggle, and I am constantly in awe of her strength. She has served as an inspiration to me and I know many others. Fear may be her shadow, but it does not keep her from going out into the sun. She is a successful student, planning to move on to graduate school. She is a leader in her sorority and she exudes vitality and vibrancy. We could all benefit from her example.

Fear may be her shadow, but it does not keep her from going out into the sun.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to step right into it. She does this every day. As leaders, we all have our fears. the countless things that keep us up at night. But, how do we face them? Do we bury them, pretending that they are not there? We can't, for it is not healthy. Doing that is what increases stress, reduces sleep and gnaws away at one's psyche. Do we let fear stop us? Maybe, at times, fear serves as a warning signal. It may call our attention to an action that carries undue risk. In most cases, however, we have to step into the unknown. Failure to take action, even if it is scary, can be detrimental to the success of the organization.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to step right into it.

What we need to do, is what I learned from my daughter. We need to step forward with fear at our side. We need to accept that fear may be that unwanted companion that joins us on our journey. Kind of like that person sitting behind you on the plane who is constantly playing with their tray table and kicking the seat. They are not going to stop, there is no way to get rid of them and you don't want to make a scene. Yet, you need to get to your final destination, so your only choice is to breath, tolerate and move forward. Unless of course, you have a drink coupon. Just kidding, that is not a good strategy.

We need to accept that fear may be that unwanted companion that joins us on our journey.

We need to accept that fear may be that unwanted companion that joins us on our journey.
Fear arrives at our doorstep in many costumes. At times it is cloaked as a difficult decision. At other times it is disguised as conflict or confrontation. Sometimes it is dressed just like us and we find that we are caught in a moment of self-doubt or discomfort. Whatever its manifestation, don't slam and lock the door. Simply give it a knowing smile and step forward. It doesn't matter if it chases you as long as it does not stop you.

Fear arrives at our doorstep in many costumes.

I learned about true courage from my daughter. Fear knocks at her door everyday. She greets it, smiles and sends it on its way, clearing her path to move forward. We should all be that strong.

Fear knocks at her door everyday. She greets it, smiles and sends it on its way.

If, like my daughter, you suffer from severe anxiety. Please know that there are many therapeutic options and you don't need to face it alone. Recently, she penned an article that provides great insight into her struggle. I ask you to please read it by clicking here.

Elliot Begoun is the Principal of The Intertwine Group. His purpose is to grow businesses and business leaders. He helps organizations develop integrative leaders, inspire employee enlightenment, practice mindful marketing and build lasting relationships with customers. Elliot serves as a consultant, coach, and thinking partner.

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This article first appeared on The GROW Blog