Monday, July 08, 2013

Fear According to Mark Twain

Lego Image of Mark Twain
Mark Twain House

Courage is the resistance of fear, mastery of fear,
not the absence of fear.

To be courageous doesn’t mean we aren't afraid. Everyone is fearful. We may look at someone who overcomes fear and think they are some sort of bionic human who is fearless. This isn’t the case at all. Courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway—then seeing the fear dissolve.
I have experienced this with public speaking.
It is said that speaking in front of others is the #1 fear for people.

Ten or fifteen years ago I would have agreed with that in my life. Whenever I had to as much introduce myself to a group, I would be sick to my stomach, dizzy and visiting the bathroom. But, then something changed.

Through some circumstances, my fear to speak in front of a group is gone for the most part. I still get butterflies. I still feel a little nervous beforehand. But, when I stand up the fear isn’t there and I am able to speak the message I’m there to deliver.
So this quote from Mark Twain has shown true in my life. As someone once said, it is learning to get your butterflies to fly in formation. I like that.
How about you? What do Mark Twain’s words mean to you?
Day 8 - 31 Day Blog Challenge


  1. I have two rules to live by:

    1. Don't be defined by your fears.
    2. Don't be defined by a number on a bathroom scale.

    Yes, your blog speaks to me. My current one is in a similar vein.

  2. Thanks, Kristi. I could use the one about the bathroom scale too :)
    Thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts

  3. I love that - getting your butterflies to fly in formation :)
    I wrote something similar today - it's also about overcoming fear. Great blog.
    hahahah - just saw what Kristi wrote - I couldn't agree more. I've thrown out my bathroom scales.

  4. I get nervous before I speak, but as soon as I start, I'm good to go. I try to remember to dedicate all my words to God right before I start. Then I relax and figure whatever happens after that is not mine to worry about.

  5. Thanks, Kalpana Misra for stopping by and leaving your comment.
    I always liked the butterflies idea too. It's like harnessing the fear and making it obey LOL

  6. I do the same, Carol. It's helpful to remember it is NOT about me. Ha!!

  7. Great post. Fear should never confine you. Visiting from UBC :)

  8. Thanks for visiting, Emelie. I appreciate your comments--you are so right. But I know fear confined me for a long time before I was aware of the strategies I was taking to look brave :)

  9. Great post, Jeanne. I still vividly remember the first time I spoke to an audience years ago -- my knees were knocking and I left grip marks on the podium. Like you, I still get butterflies, but they flutter away once I'm underway.

  10. Thanks for your thoughts, Gloria. I really feel that the Lord took away my fear--all the more reason I am assured He is leading


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