Fearlessness: Have the guts to go for it
How it’s linked to joy: “There are only a few people out there who can completely overcome their fears—and they all live in Tibet,” writes Susan Cain in Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. While only the most mindful of Buddhist monks may be able to completely experience freedom from fears, the rest of us have to learn to face them.
But when we do, the payoff can be big, says 57-year-old Janet Webber, who embraced fearlessness in her own life by leaving an unhappy marriage over a decade ago and launching her business as a love and relationship coach in 2009.
“It takes a lot of courage to get divorced, and it also takes a lot of courage to be an entrepreneur,” she says. “But today I am living my dream. I love my work—I believe I was born to do this.”
How we lose it: Many of us are motivated by negative emotions, which rob us of the potential for joy. “Overwhelmingly, in my practice I see people who are doing things or who are in relationships where the underlying motivation is fear, obligation or guilt,” says Webber. “If we are always sacrificing our own needs for the needs of others, we abandon ourselves. It takes a lot of fearlessness to call into question what we
How to reclaim it: Set healthy boundaries and put yourself first for a change. “We have to be able to look at our lives from a more objective place and call into question what is really motivating us,” says Webber. “The world needs more people who are connected to their joy. We don’t need more people drudging through life with endless to-do lists and no energy left for themselves.”