What Does it Mean to Be Fearless? (And Why I Prefer to Be Afraid)

I just found my name on a Twitter list entitled, “Fearless Women.” I also found myself on a blog post by Kristi H ines called “125 Fearless Females Bloggers.” It’s flattering and an honor to be included, but I’m also confused by the inclusion.

You see, I’m always afraid. Not in a chicken, cowardly sort of way,  but more in a way that I worry about things like outcome , reputation and failure. I don’t jump into things, I carefully weigh the pros adn cons, and think about how all my actions will affect others.

I’m always afraid.

To me, being fearless means:

  • Not being afraid to try something new
  • Writing things without worrying about how others will react
  • Attending conferences, meetups, tweetups and other events without worrying I won’t l know anyone
  • Approaching others to join a conversation without worrying about saying the right thing
  • Applying for opportunities I know I’m perfect for, without a second thought as to whether or not I’m truly perfect for them
  • Getting past my millions of insecurities to succeed

But I like being afraid sometimes because being afraid means:

  • I think about what I’m doing before I’m doing. I might be afraid to fail, but when I take the time to plan things out, it’s less likely failure will happen.
  • I think about what I’m going to say, before I say it.  It might not be what I really want to say but at least there are no misunderstandings or hurt feelings later.
  • Worrying about my reputation means it’s important how I represent me as well as the brand I’m working for in a positive light.
  • Impulsive isn’t always an asset, sometimes it’s seen as a detriment which cause people to think twice about working or spending time with me.

Being Afraid Keeps Us in Check

I know there are people who think I’m kind of silly because I’m not so headstrong and worry a lot about making others feel uncomfortable. But I think there’s something to be said about being the right kind of afraid. I’m not paranoid of every single step I take, but I do like to take the time to consider how my actions will affect me, the people around me, the people I love and the people I work for.

How does being afraid keep YOU in check? Are you fearless? What are the types of things you worry about?

Tell us, is it better to be fearless or afraid?


  1. I am very, very afraid,  and I hate it. 

    I want to be fearless.  I want to put myself out there, to share raw, real, meaningful stories.  To create something beautiful and timeless and irresistible.  Something potent.  Something important.  Powerful.  True.  But that’s just not me. 

    I wish I were able to write without constantly censoring myself, to just MAKE ART.  But that’s not me.  And so, instead of the Great American Novel,  I write a timid little blog about recipes and parenting tips and cute pictures of my son.  It’s all very…polite.  But I wish it were more.

  2. Loupaun says:

    I think of courage as going ahead anyway when you’re convinced it’s the right thing to do.  It’s not exactly the same thing as fearless, and it can include being afraid. I believe it is more valuable than either.

  3. Jodee Redmond says:

    I’m not fearless by any stretch of the imagination – more like “suck it up and do it anyway.” If I waited until I felt entirely comfortable before doing something, I wouldn’t do a lot of things.

  4. Kristi Hines says:

    I think all bloggers have a fearlessness to them.  Even if you are afraid to do things, you still post online every day (here, social media, etc.).  It really opens the door to anything possibly happening, from people’s reactions to interaction to simply knowing that people could recognize you on the street thanks to your photo.  So I think to be online so transparently, that in itself is pretty fearless!

  5. As far as I am concerned I think that your are fearless and write great posts and share with all of us. I always loved what you have done here. The design is elegant, your stuff classy. Yet, you have got an edginess to what you’re offering here. Ill definitely come back for more…

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  6. to me fearless = stupid

  7. Rochelle says:

    This is so well written and well put. I really enjoyed reading it. I think sometimes I’m too afraid- too afraid of what people will think about what I post, Afraid it will have negative feedback. I should just be fearless like you. :) I mean, it is what I have to say.[my opinion] Thanks for this great post.

    Have a lovely day.

  8. Back in 2003 I started an outdoor coaching company. We pulled Fortune 500 executives out of their offices and asked them to do things like the guy going down the zip line in the picture. Some of them refused and that was fine, it was a challenge by choice.

    I always said that I would never want to work with someone who had no fear, no fear of heights especially. Fear of heights and public speaking is so deeply ingrained in our DNA that not having it means something is seriously wrong.
    After speaking to several doctors, I was told only patients with serious mental disease will show a complete lack of fear.
    Being afraid is being human and healthy. 

    I have lunch with fear everyday, as a father I fear not being a good enough role model for my daughter, as an entrepreneur, as a coach and as blogger.
    My fear reminds me I can fail and I have but it also motivates me to move past it and win a little battle. A battle I have to fight again tomorrow but the fact that I can live and still be afraid means the world to me.

  9. Being afraid wouldn’t take some one places in the long run.It only serves to lock one in a “safe briefcase” free from any form of risk,bad happenings.You need risk to grow.People should learn to express themselves freely but with  reasonable precaution.You will have to remember great men are those that dare.How else would man have landed on the moon if  nobody ever volunteered to dare?

  10. Web design London says:

    . I really enjoyed reading it. I think sometimes I’m too afraid- too afraid of what people will think about what I post, Afraid it will have negative feedback.