Being fearless is all the rage these days, especially if you’re a woman. Taylor Swift and Huffington Post are both plugging it, and on many levels I’m totally with their message – but a part of me worries that women now have yet another impossible goal to strive for, along with non-touching thighs, a pimple-free or wrinkle-free face, and a balanced life involving a happy husband, brilliant, well-adjusted children and a CEO position.
Actually, being fearless is even crazier, because some people actually have those other things but no-one is without fear.
I get that fearless can mean ‘courageous’ rather than actually without fear. My own book Gumption is all about daring, for heaven’s sake. But this word still scares me. It’s a absolute word, and if you don’t read the fine print it conveys an absolute idea.
Apparently fearless people aren’t without fear, they’re good at getting past their boogeymen so they can do the things they dream of in spite of being scared.
I much prefer Veronica Roth’s take (author of Divergent):
“Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”
So go ahead and be scared. Then get over it and get going.