Being Near Death Makes Us Brave

Being Near Death Makes Us Brave

Last update: 11 August, 2017

Being near death makes us brave. When our lives are in danger, our fears disappear, our doubts stop tormenting us, and we start to regret not doing the things that we left for a later time. As much as death terrifies us, it also fills us with a bravery that was previously unknown to us.

We’re aware that every minute counts, and that we should start being more mindful. But we procrastinate because we prioritize projects, work, worries, and other things that take up our time, which we don’t value enough. This happens until our lives are hanging from a string and we realize how wrong we were.

“When you feel the closeness of death, you look inside yourself and find nothing more than banality, because the living, compared to the dead, are unbearably banal.”

-Miguel Delibes-

Take a risk, don’t be left with unfulfilled desires

You wanted to say it, but you were too afraid of rejection. The possibility of losing them made you back down. Embarrassment, doubts, telling yourself it really doesn’t matter — all this has made you wonder “what would have happened if…?” You’re left with a collection of uncertainties that will stay with you forever, that you won’t be able to shake off. The most important thing now is to prevent this pile of uncertainties from growing.

We become brave when we’re near death and we start to see these attitudes as foolish. We blame and reprimand ourselves for not having had the courage to say or do what we wanted to when the desire first arose. At this point, if we still have the time, we try to find a solution to all this. If not, the guilt starts to suffocate us.

woman with umbrella and birds

Life teaches us to appreciate it through our experiences. But it does so in a subtle way, and the negative impact that lingers in our conscience is brief. Remember that person who was so important to you, but you didn’t really value them until you lost them? It was then that you understood what you heard so often, but never listened to: “value people when you have them, not when you lose them.”

“It’s necessary to take risks, follow certain paths, and abandon others. Nobody can make decisions without fear.”

-Paulo Coelho-

Excuses have invaded you the way preoccupations and negative thoughts do. You use them as a shield so that you don’t have to make an effort, so that you believe the stifling yet comforting idea that you don’t have enough time, that you’re not good enough, that you shouldn’t make the decision to start a relationship with the person you love…

You hide the things you so deeply want to experience behind a limiting attitude that makes you think you can’t achieve them.

What have you got to lose?

Maybe the closeness of death makes us brave because we have nothing more to lose. Who cares whether they say yes or no? Who cares if they reject you? In those moments, all that’s left is to try, because if the answer is positive, you’ll gain something, and if it’s negative, you won’t lose anything.


This is the attitude you should live with today, tomorrow, and forever. You’ve put up many walls in your mind due to trauma, experiences that you want to forget, and other circumstances that have made you insecure. But the thing is, right now the answer is already no. Accept that, and you don’t have to be afraid of failing. Because whatever you lose, you never had before anyway. So take the risk!

Many of the obstacles that you see are the extraordinary product of your imagination. Barriers that both the cowardly and the courageous create. The difference is that brave people face them, while cowards aggravate them by avoiding them.

Brave people shake off every limiting belief they have and don’t let anyone instill them with the fear of the unknown. We often make excuses and try to condition our future. We assume and anticipate. But if we’re aware that the future is unpredictable and that it holds many surprises in store, why do we cower away from it?

“When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”


Expectations, pride, fear of ridicule, fear of failure… All this disappears when death is near. It seems incredible that the thing we’re most afraid of – the horror of disappearing, of falling into oblivion – is what makes us the bravest. This ending, which we always thought would take years to arrive, is what makes us brave when we no longer have the opportunity to be brave.

bird on boat

Images courtesy of Christian Schloe

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.