03/11/2013 12:08 am ET Updated May 10, 2013

Day 11: 31 Days of Daily Inspiration From Brilliant Women

Daily Inspiration: Day 11 of 31 Days

"I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life -- and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do." -- Georgia O'Keeffe

Courage, I believe, is the most important trait when it comes to living a full and glorious life. Without it, you can have more talent and tenacity than anyone but it won't matter. It takes courage to connect with people, to tell them your dreams and show them your skills. It takes courage to keep going, to suffer all the inevitable setbacks, rejections and disappointments and not give up. Talent, self-belief and tenacity matter not a jot without it. Courage underpins everything.

I used to think that successful people aren't scared. I believed they achieved greatness because they were far braver than I. I imagined they had special reserves of fire that I would never have. For I couldn't imagine speaking to audiences without passing out, or giving interviews without garbling my words. And I knew that being a successful author would certainly involve such things. So I watched them enviously, wondering how they were so blessed with courage and why wasn't I? Then I met a few and found out I was wrong. These people weren't without fear, they simply didn't let it stop them, which, of course, is very the definition of courage: to be scared and not let it stop you.

Inspiration From Brilliant Women

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