*Article idea inspired by an original article on Elephant Journal.*
“I’m looking for someone who is confident but not cocky.”
“I want a girl with green eyes, blonde hair, and well, a six-pack would be great.”
“My perfect guy would be someone who makes for great conversation, someone who I could talk to and get lost with through all hours of the night.”
We’ve all heard these statements before. Conversations about our ideal would-be partner have become ubiquitous through today’s hard-to-please culture. We’re searching for the right person to share our life’s experiences with, and we won’t settle for anything less because we’ve done that before and it never works out.
But there’s one quality that I believe to be the most beautiful and honorable quality anyone could have, one that’s often missed on our ‘ideal partner’s qualities’ list. This quality is courage.
However, let’s take a moment to differentiate confidence and courage.
Confidence & Arrogance
Confidence is a wonderful trait to have, but the problem with people being confident is that sometimes it can be a cover for arrogance. This type of confidence often signifies deeper insecurities and self-esteem issues, having to act out a fassaud in order to prove to others that they are secure in who they are when in actuality they are not.
When I say courage, I mean the ability for someone to live their life without the all-forsaken road block, fear.
Fear dominates the lives of so many people. It keeps us eternally bound to our egoic-mind, the aspect of our self which is caught up in ‘survival mode,’ keeping us from taking risks or making change in areas of our life where it may very well be needed.
I’ve experienced this many times in my own life. I’ve let fear of what others think of me limit my full and true expression. I’ve let fear of rejection keep me from taking risks with people in my life. I’ve let fear of control and fear of stepping outside my comfort zones keep me from living my fullest potential.
Many of these fears dominated my teenage-hood and early 20’s. But as I grew older, I began to realize that a life ruled by fear wasn’t a life worth living. What would I be missing if I let my fears keep me barricaded in this pseudo-safety bubble?
My Story: Going Against The Grain
Well I’ll tell you what I would be missing. When I was a young boy, I dreamed of being a writer one day. I wanted to have my words heard around the world, I wanted to tell stories with a purpose. But like so many others do, I succumbed to the voice of society at large, which told me that it was nearly impossible to sustain oneself from a career in writing.
So I dropped that dream immediately. I let go of my creative muse, and replaced it with a future degree in health science. I went to college and got a serving job. I did what was expected. But I wasn’t happy. In fact, I was very depressed. My soul was crying out, “this isn’t your destiny Jeff!”
It did take awhile, but eventually the message became clear. I heard the call and dropped out of college, something society tends to look down upon. I was afraid of letting go of a safe career in the health sciences, but I was also afraid of looking back one day and wishing I had done more.
It was after I left my comfort zone and released my fear of leaving the safe-zone that life really began for me. It wasn’t long until a writing position opened up at an up-and-coming alternative news website called Collective Evolution. I applied, and well, you can probably piece together the rest of the story.
This job has taken me from a small, quiet town where I lived for 20 years, to a massive bustling metropolis that I now call home. Since then I’ve also faced my fear of traveling and have gone on to experience life in other countries, such as Peru.
All from having the courage to take a risk.
Drop The Fear & Be Beautiful
Things happen when you release fear from your daily decisions. For this reason, the most beautiful quality in anyone is their courage. I admire someone for having the courage to travel outside of their first-world perspective and immerse themselves in a foreign culture.
I admire someone for letting go of complete control of their life or their body.
I admire someone for having the courage to be the most authentic version of themselves in a situation where they may not be received by others.
I admire someone for taking a big risk for an even bigger opportunity.
I admire someone for letting go of everything they own or have built to embark on a vastly new adventure.
When we let our lives become dictated by a lack of courage, or fear, we are missing out on the most that life has to offer. And what’s the point of a life only lived settling for less? It’s a question worth considering.
So be brave, be beautiful and just go for it in life. I promise you’ll never regret it.