Get some courage. Give some courage.

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Susan is one of the bravest people I know.

Not because she is fearless. But because she experiences fear — deep, bone-rattling, heart-pounding fear — and she chooses to keep marching anyway.

Every week at the dojo when she meets with her Aikido master to train, in a combat setting, she feels fear.

Fear that she will fail. Fear that she will look awkward and stupid. Fear that she will disappoint herself or her sensei. Fear that she will get injured. Fear that she will accidentally injure somebody else.

Every imaginable flavor of fear, rippling inside of her.

Yet she keeps going back.

Not long ago, Susan and I had a conversation about fear.

We swapped battle stories (me: weight lighting and rock climbing; her: martial arts; both of us: writing and entrepreneurship) and we talked about how emotions are contagious.

If there is one thing that Susan and I agree upon, wholeheartedly, it’s this:

“If you want to be brave, don’t surround yourself with terrified people.”

Ha. Yeah. That is not going to help.

Who are the bravest people you know?

Seek them. Be with them. Get saturated by their stories, their choices, their courage.

Who are the least-brave people you know?

Find them. Be with them, too. Give away some of the courage that has been passed down to you. Lead by example. Show what is possible. Share what you know.

To one person you might be a young grasshopper but to somebody else you are a warrior-goddess.

To one person you might be a total beginner but to somebody else you are a seasoned, proficient and knowledgeable teacher.

There is always someone who can help you — and always someone you can help, too.

Get some courage. Give some courage.

Be inspired. Then go inspire.

Keep the cycle flowing.

Help the bravery build.

We all play a role in creating a braver, less terrified world.

Alexandra Franzen

When it comes to being a better writer — and a better human being — Alexandra Franzen has a ten-word philosophy: Start with love. Keep it simple. You are not confused. Alexandra’s refreshingly simple communication tips have been featured on Fast Company, Forbes, The Daily Love, The Daily Muse, MediaBistro, MindBodyGreen and The Huffington Post — and on radio programs from coast to coast. Learn more at www.alexandrafranzen.com.

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