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Be Fearless: Stories That Will Inspire You to LIVE Your Life

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Don't Hold Back

Acknowledging and owning the fear can also give rise to incredible acts of personal bravery. René Syler, former coanchor of CBS's Early Show and author of Good Enough Mother, started this year with a double prophylactic mastectomy. Both of her parents have had breast cancer, and every time Syler, 44, was due for a mammogram or biopsy, she wondered if this would be the time she was diagnosed with it. Finally, she realized she couldn't continue going the way she was. "My conclusion was that I had to put on my big-girl britches and just do it -- have the surgery and reduce the risk," says Syler.

Having had breast cancer not once but twice, Betty Rollin, a former NBC News correspondent, agrees that fear can be a positive force. "Both times I was really shook up, just a wreck of fear," says Rollin, 71, author of Here's the Bright Side: Of Failure, Fear, Cancer, Divorce, and Other Bum Raps. "But now I have this sense that I want to spend time wisely and well. So I don't hold back anymore. I say what I think, and I do what I really feel like doing." When it comes to her life, she's calling the shots. And isn't that the whole point to being fearless?

 

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, August 2007.

 

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