Fear Is Not A Virtue

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In the circles I travel in (clients, friends, family) I  interact with people who believe that coronavirus is either:

  • A government conspiracy to take control of its citizens
  • Just a bad flu that no one should be worried about
  • A real thing that has been ridiculously overblown by authorities
  • A very real pandemic that everyone needs to do their part to defeat
  • A clear and present danger that requires lockdown of all citizens if we’re to survive

Pretty wide range of beliefs.  I have clients and friends on opposite poles of this question.  And family.  We all have our opinions on how serious it is, and what should be done about it.  I do too of course.

But as these past 12 months have dragged along, I’ve noticed a new idea emerging that I hope we all strongly disagree with.  It’s insidious and not stated openly, but it’s there nevertheless.  And that’s the idea that it’s good to be afraid.

Worse yet, we pass this idea on to our kids.  While we would never say it in those words, still ‘more is caught than taught.’  They watch our actions and form their ideas based on them.

The words of one client company employee struck me.  He said, “I live in fear of dying every day I come into work.”

Let me say clearly:

Fear is not a virtue.  FEAR. IS. NOT. A. VIRTUE.

Courage is a virtue.  Bravery is a virtue.

Fear is normal, but it’s something that we need to overcome.  Bravery is acting in spite of fear.

So, if you feel fear, ask yourself what sources are causing it?  Shutting those sources of fear off will help you be brave.  These sources always include (but aren’t limited to):

  • The information/news that you allow into your head
  • The people you hang around with
  • What you allow your mind to focus on

Usually we’re afraid of things that we can’t control such as what might happen in the future, or how other people might behave.  Neither of which you have any control over.

Today, why not focus on what you can control?  Here’s a list:

  • Having a positive attitude
  • Turning off the news
  • Limiting social media
  • Following your conscience regarding health regulations
  • Showing grace and kindness to others
  • Avoiding people who stoke your fear

Of course, recklessness isn’t a virtue either, but that’s a tip for another day!

“Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one’s courage.” -Anais Nin

Trevor Throness head shot 2019

Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.”  He is also co-founder and senior instructor at www.professionalleadershipinstitute.com https://www.professionalleadershipinstitute.com/

Find more about “The Power of People Skills” here: https://www.amazon.com/Power-People-Skills-Dramatically-Performance/dp/1632651068

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Written by Trevor Throness
Trevor is a veteran coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book “The Power of People Skills” released by Career Press NY in 2017. He’s also written for or been featured in places like Forbes, Inc, The NY Post, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, CEO Magazine, and numerous podcasts and interviews.


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