Notice that the definition does not include 'lack of fear.' It's more of a definition of doing something, 'in spite of the fear of ______ (failure, rejection, public speaking, trying something new, forgiving someone who has badly wounded you... you fill in the blank).'
I'm not telling you there is nothing to be afraid of in this world. Sadly, there is more fear in our world shouting at us from every angle in this time and age than there ever has been (terror-ism, financial collapse, disease, etc).
No, I'm not even suggesting you get to a place where you do not fear (though that would be great and in itself requires massive amounts of courage and trust and is a great growth goal to obtain).
Rather, I'm inviting you to address your FEARS (F.alse E.vidence A.ppearing R.eal) of everyday living and have the courage to change your circumstances, your thinking, your perspective, your life, to properly 'grow up.'
It takes courage to grow.
I've been told by more than one person that they 'do not want to grow up!' Not, "they don't want to grow old" (that's a given) but that they don't want to mature, to become fully developed human beings. Child-likeness is one thing, and is a requirement for faith and belief and yes, even courage. But desiring to stay a child ("I may be 45, but I have the mindset of an 18 year old..."), enabled, incompetent, unwise (which is really what these people were saying they wished to do) is so sad to hear and see. And the root of it is fear (fear of responsibility, failure, success, etc). Calm down my 18 year old friends who are reading this! No doubt you are amazing and much more mature than your peers. Keep on developing and maturing and growing!
This is a symptom of the "Toys R Us" generation. "Arrested Development" is not a good thing. (I can hear some of you from my grandparent's generation <The Greatest Generation> saying, 'hear! hear!')! My intent is not to go into the history or the malady of my generation, but to 'sound the call to courage'.
Courage to grow. Courage to do the inner personal work of self-discipline, responsibility, integrity, diligence and fortitude. To respect and honor who you are and who you are to become. To grow up. To face your fears and shine the light of Truth and Love on them and see them for the shadows that your fears really are. To own up. To wake up. To be aware. To allow your wounds from 'a world of hurt' to be tended to, forgiven (and forgiveness granted), to release bitterness, anger, anxiety. To seek wholeness, healing and grace. To contribute the best version of who you are to be to yourself, your loved ones and your society.
When asked who my heroes are, my gut-level honest answer is this: those who have the courage to grow up, to own up, and to be wholly who they are Divinely Created To Be, not majoring on the difficulties or hurdles (we ALL have those) but on the victories big or small. I have a lot of heroes who've overcome the odds!
While growth is for the most part an internal progression, it is best achieved by partnering and having the influence of other heroes in your life. As children, our growth is largely shaped by those more mature than us (siblings, parents, grandparents, etc.). Not all of us have heroes around us that can help us achieve our growth goals. That's where mentors, coaches, and teachers play such an important role.
Are you my hero in the making?