Is It Better To Be Brave or Fearless?

image of plush forest where brave or fearless is questioned


Is it better to be brave or fearless? They are both attributes that deserve a lot of credit. The brave man is trustworthy due to his reputation. He’s known for never being afraid of taking on a new challenge, completing a dangerous task, or standing up for himself. He’s revered in the community as a man who sticks to his guns and fights for what he believes in with unwavering faith.

The fearless man is the exact same. He never shies away from a task too big. Nothing is impossible in his mind; therefore nothing rattles him. He takes risks, he grows more powerful in the face of adversity, and there’s no hesitation when a danger is involved.

On the outside, these two men appear one and the same. They’re both strong, courageous, and extremely confident.
But on the inside, they differ greatly. They analyze things completely differently. But these analyzations result in the same behaviors: action!

It makes me wonder if they are even worth comparing. Should we even compare the difference between a brave man and a fearless one? I mean they’re both highly regarded character traits that I’m sure any man or woman would not mind having. So why distinguish between the two? I mean, is there even a difference?

The Difference

I read this a long time ago in The 48 Laws of Power and it has resonated with me ever since. In the book, Robert Greene describes how a fearless man is more prone to make mistakes than a brave one. This is because a fearless man has no sense of danger. He fears nothing so he never analyzes a threat when he’s presented with one. He sometimes moves blindly into harm’s way because he never even considers the harm. This can lead to mistakes.

The brave man is never absent of fear. It’s his bravery that pushes him past the fear and into action. He feels this fear the entire time but stays in motion despite it. He properly analyzes the threats he’s faced with, devises a plan to encounter them, then goes into action totally aware of the danger involved. This often bodes well in the end because proper preparation prevents piss poor performance. And a prepared man is a victorious one.

I believe no one is truly fearless. It’s our innate humanity to feel this emotion. Some feel it less than others but we all feel it. The key to overcoming fear is being truly aware of it. Realize that it is there and give your best shot at it to perform with it. A lot like the brave man. It takes effort, just like anything else. But just like timidity, bravery is a learned trait too.

Brave or Fearless

To wrap it up. Both of these are admirable traits. In fact, I think they are often confused with one another and can be used interchangeably. We’re never really truly absent of fear. So there’s no such thing as fearless. Although, we experience it at different levels. Some just appear to be fearless because of their bravery. Fear is a good thing because it reminds you that you are alive! But don’t let it stop you from the things you want to accomplish. Feel it and do it anyway!