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What is fearlessness?

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My word for 2015 is fearless. It took much contemplation to reach my word this year but when it came to me, I knew it was perfect.

With my word clearly stamped on my psyche it was with interest that I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s thoughts on ‘fearlessness’ on her Facebook page yesterday. It is a really thought provoking piece of writing, as all of Elizabeth’s words are, so I do suggest you head on over and have a quick read.

There are certainly parts of what Elizabeth says that I feel are very true. We can never expect to conquer all our fears and live a completely fearless life, nor should we fight against our fears in a daily struggle. To attempt to do either would be futile. Fears do have a valuable place in our lives. and Elizabeth’s sentiment of choosing to live alongside her fears gracefully is very powerful.

However, there is another side to fearlessness that I see.

Here is what I wrote in reply to Elizabeth’s post.


I agree no one can ever be without fear, it is a totally fruitless goal. However, there is a difference in the definition of without fear and fearless. For me the difference lies in real fears and what I like to call conjured fears. Conjured fears are those obstacles and excuses we create so we can put things in the ‘too hard’ basket. Conjured fears what we use to make ourselves feel okay about not pushing forward in life and ‘settling’. Conjured fears allow us to procrastinate through life. For me, pushing through and controlling my conjured fears is what being fearless is about. It is about understanding my self imposed limits, building courage and reaching the results on the other side fear.


It is my conjured fears that I am aiming to tackle this year.

The fears that I make up in my head as excuses and reasons I can’t move forward.

To me, being fearless is about being brave and courageous. It is about positive thinking and self-belief. Fearing not of irrational ‘what-if’s’. Fearing not of failure. It is being fearless of the monsters I have conjured in my own head, the ones that don’t really exist. Fearless is not fearing what is on the other side of effort, determination and hard work.

Living fearlessly is living with purpose.

But it hasn’t been an overnight revelation. It has taken me many years to work to a point where I can emotionally comprehend this definition.

I will always carry real fears. As Elizabeth says in her piece ‘they are protectors’, and certainly have an important place in our lives. And perhaps Elizabeth and my views are much the same, just worded differently. The beauty of the uniqueness that are human beings.


What is your take on fearless and fearlessness?