"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." Nelson Mandela
Inasmuch as we are not born hating or resenting others, we are also not born fearful. We learn to be fearful, mostly after taking physical or emotional hits.
Our fear is for our self-preservation, to stop us being hurt, especially if we have been hurt before. Sometimes it is to avoid being found out and exposed. And so we hold back on doing or saying anything that might induce hurt of any sort or might expose us. We withhold love, for fear that we might not be loved back in return, or that someone will take advantage of our vulnerability. We withhold telling the truth, for fear that we won't be liked for it. We withhold our best efforts, for fear that we may not be fairly recognized or rewarded, or worse still, that we might then have to take some responsibility. I know one person who didn't want to try in competitive athletics lest he be beaten and found out to be not good enough.
Until we can understand that, by withholding the love, truth or effort, we in fact bring about the very result we most fear, we will keep on getting the same results. "If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you've always gotten."
There is no way through this conundrum other than to embrace the fear, find our courage and take some risk. Love more, and you are likely to receive more love. Love less, and you will receive less in return. "...And gamble everything for love, if you're a true human being. If not, leave this gathering..." (#Rumi)
Tell the truth and you remain in your own integrity, so that even if someone else doesn't like the truth, you get to honour and respect yourself a whole lot more.
Give your all and you are more likely to get the acknowledgment you seek, but you certainly won't get it if you withhold your personal best. Give your all and you advance into the realm of possibility. And truly, anything becomes possible when we give 10/10 to achieve it. Little is possible when we give less than our all.
It is human to feel fear, but we transcend our fear by drawing on our courage, giving our all and risking the thing we fear. There is no other way to transcend the fear. Inevitably, when we risk what we fear, the feared thing generally fails to materialize. Instead the act of courage presents a true gift of value: the opportunity to take back our lives.