The courage to stare down fear requires more than meets the eye. In fact, if you keep your focus and attention on what scares you, you will feel more afraid. Yet, you will need to face your fear, name your fear, and then tap into your spiritual power of courage. Courage is not of the head; it’s of the heart.

Even the root “cour” comes from the French word for “heart.” It is when we live in our head and attempt to repress our heart that fear can dominate and overtake the power of vulnerability – fear-lessness. It takes courage to be vulnerable. We have it all backwards. Vulnerability does not mean “weak” and sappy.

It takes confidence and self-acceptance to be vulnerable and open-minded. Fear of making “mistakes” is a form of cowardice. Mistakes are only “learning.” It is the one in fear who wears the mask of “perfectionism,” judgment without compassion or clinging to the status quo even though there is obvious suffering.

I had conversations recently with two dynamic, successful women entrepreneurs. Because I’ve had to face and go through so much fear and illusion, I could relate to both of their journeys. One had to face doubt that she could lead her growing multimillion-dollar family business. She said she had to face that all the blame, anger, and insecurity she was feeling was not due to the fault of others.

She had to finally listen to her heart that was screaming for attention, not just chase after more “business skills.” And when she did, she reclaimed her true personal power. The results? More inner peace, intuition, connection to life, and improved relationships on all levels. She has better health, can apply her leadership skills effectively, has a happy and engaged team/employees, and a soaring bottom line in her accounts receivables. It took courage, and now she is reaping the rewards and inspiring everyone she has connection with.

The other female leader/entrepreneur had to face the fear of reinvention. As she too faced her self-doubt, took the leap, and responded to the opportunity that came her way – even though afraid – seemingly like magic, more doors opened. Against the beliefs of the men around her who said, “Women are bad at sales,” she went on to beat out the record of the top male sales leader. She’s now a powerful force behind her client’s success in the areas of entrepreneurship on several levels. The morale of the story is FEAR — Fictitious Evidence Affecting Reality — will stop you if you refuse to call it out.

Once you do, stop focusing on it and focus on where you want to go while releasing the feelings that show up. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from these feelings? What needs to be reframed or updated? You can learn easy ways to reduce the painful feelings until you learn to change your perception of them. HOW we focus our attention matters.

Talking about fear, not enough time, energy, or money all day long only worsens your condition. The power of attention and focus is remarkable.

Learning how your brain and mind co-create your experience will empower your business and personal life. Refusing to respect and acknowledge the power of your emotions will keep you stuck, burnt out, and full of “dis-ease.”

At the root of this is reconnecting with who you really are and looking at the “story” that you’ve unwittingly wired your brain with but that no longer serves your life. It takes courage to address your spiritual, emotional mental, and physical self — instead of running around all day doing, and doing like a “chicken with his HEART (not head) cut off.”

Pay attention and start focusing on gratitude. It’s a great way to open — and heal — the fear in your head. Then you can live authentically, courageously YOU — magnificently! Have you examine your illusions of fear and questioned them?

Author's Bio: 

Valencia Ray, M.D. teaches business owners and corporate leaders how their amazing brain can actually hijack personal power -- not in the abstract, but in the context of integrating business and personal life. Dr. Ray, a board-certified eye surgeon and medical business owner for over 20 years before selling her practice, shares her own life changing process. By sharing her story, she helps others to expand their vision and learn that by living with purpose and confidence, it is possible to have a more integrated, healthier lifestyle – with less struggle, more inner peace and more abundance.

For more information and to contact her regarding dynamic, inspirational keynotes, trainings in collaborative leadership and team building, entrepreneurship and coaching programs, visit her website at