Without fear, there’s no bravery.

Simon Pastor
3 min readDec 5, 2022

Why we should all be chasing “good fear”

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The other day I saw this video of two MMA fighters talking and shaking hands after a fight. You should watch the video, you can find it below, and it’s only 15 seconds long.

I have to admit; I thought it was cool. I’m sure the fighter had prepared his quote and was ready to deliver it in a movie-like way. But I loved this idea that without fear, there’s no bravery. I’m sure I had read it somewhere in some similar form in the past, but I must have forgotten it. Anyways it made me think

When I started grad school a year ago, I joined the grad rugby team and re-started playing rugby. The week before my first games, I would get anxious. The worst part was probably the 30 minutes before a game, where the anxiety turned into some type of fear. While being nervous before a game applies to all sports, I feel this can be even more pronounced in contact sports, as you are putting your body on the line. Seeing your opponent warm up and knowing that you’ll be going hard at each other soon adds to that tension and stress. I like to compare stepping onto a rugby pitch to stepping into an arena, which results in teasing from my friends and family.

This feeling generally lasts until my first contact in a game. Not only does the first hit relieve that fear, but it also signals that it’s game on and that now it’s time to play and win.

So, right before the game starts, I tell myself, “Why am I doing this?” and that this is my last game. But as soon as I get the first hit and start playing, I start enjoying it, and I understand why I do this in the first place. Interestingly enough, I would ask myself similar questions when I went to Model United Nations conferences, wondering what I was doing here but then having a good time and coming back the following year.

“Good Fear “ is common.

It seems that this is very common. I’ve talked to many players about this, and they all tell me they have some apprehension going into…



Simon Pastor

🇪🇺🇫🇷🇺🇸 @YaleMPP • Previousy @LSEGovernment, Institut Montaigne, CitizenLab, UN 🇺🇳