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Question: I get very tensed whenever I face any conflict. I find that definitely there is an underlying fear that I will lose something, which causes anxiety. But, just being able to pinpoint doesn’t help much.
Very often, my mind says that I should let go of, whatever I am afraid of, and get rid of that anxiety. But another part says that doing so is cowardly, and I should fight. This feeling that I am acting as a coward, does not leave me.
Kindly guide me on, how to go about the situation.
Acharya Prashant Ji: Bravery is not about fighting against just any random thing, or obstacle. If I go about banging my head against this pillar, determined to bring the pillar down, is that bravery?
Bravery is, when you have a Real Battle to fight for a Real end.
The Real end really is – the annihilation of your own self.
Therefore, bravery does not lie in fighting against this or that.
Bravery actually lies only in conquering the self.
Don’t pick random battles. Don’t just pick battles arbitrarily, clashing here and there.
If you set wanton goals and keep running after them, and then you don’t want to give up the chase because you don’t want to be declared a ‘coward’, then this is merely egoistic hesitation and clinging.
You are clinging to something because you do not want to be seen in other’s eyes, and in your own conditioned eyes, as someone who could not make it. This is ‘cowardice’. Continuing a useless battle might look like bravado, but is actually a very cowardly thing to do, because you should have quit. You should have escaped away.
But you are continuing, just because you are afraid of falling in other’s perception, or in your own perception, which is greatly influenced by others.
If you are going down the wrong road, there is no bravery in continuing in the same direction.
You cannot say, “What will people think?” Or, “What will happen to my self-esteem? I gave up.” Who said that giving up is an act of cowardice? ‘Giving up’ requires a lot of courage.
Real courage is needed only when you fight the Real Battle.
And the Real Battle is, against yourself.
Not all problems are worth facing. Most problems, you must totally avoid, even if that mean that you will be called a ‘coward’ by others.
Not all battles are worth fighting.
In most situations of conflict, just bow down, just retreat, even if that means that you are not being hailed as a belligerent hero.
Fight only the right battle, and there, you must not surrender. There, you must not never give up. Only this is ‘courage’.
So, courage lies as much in not fighting the wrong battle, as it lies in fighting the right battle.
Both are expressions of courage.
We think that fighting, and continuing to fight is the mark of valor. Right? Equally the mark of valor and courage is – not fighting the wrong battle.
If you get tempted by every voice that shouts at you, to come over and fight, then not only are you not brave, you are actually and certainly quite stupid.
So, be very-very guarded against empty and idiotic expressions of courage and bravery. When you know that the issue is trivial, feel no hesitation or guilt in just letting-go.
Let the other person win. The matter itself is trivial. Even if he wins, what will he gain?
Why do you want to fight over trivia?
Watch the session video: Concentrate on the real battle, and ignore the random ones || Acharya Prashant (2019) The transcription has been edited for clarity.
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