What makes people fearful or cowardly?
Outwardly, cowards are those who readily give up without a fight. They surrender even before the battle begins. Inwardly, they are those who let their negative emotions rule. Their minds seldom work effectively. If they do work, it is in submission to their emotions.
Cowards are those who fight a little and then give up altogether. The fighting is a mere show of bravado, especially if they see they could bluff their way to victory. But if some negative signs start to show up, they get discouraged all at once and quit.
When something scary appears, the coward mind tells the emotions that the thing is indeed scary. The mind has been subjected to such negative thinking due to its repetitive failures in the past and subsequent victories of the emotions over it. The emotions then tell the mind to manufacture scary possibilities that can happen if further exposure to the danger or trouble is maintained.
Brave people are those who are known to face up to any challenge, win or lose. Inwardly, they have their minds calling the shots and their emotions merely following suit. They feel slight fear, but their emotions shape up under pressure by their dogged minds. The emotions finally support their mind principles and their willpower operate in favor of their boldness.
Thus, brave individuals face any danger against all odds. Even in difficult situations, they still hang on fighting.
However, they may be emotional inwardly while keeping a bold front. They may also put up a fight no matter the consequence, not because their minds are above their emotions, but because they keep their pride from getting hurt. If brave people fight all-out just to keep their egos intact, it is no longer out of mental determination, but of self-interest.
On the other hand, wise people are those who use their courage with utmost wisdom. They do not show boldness for the sake of showing it — or worse, to boost their egos. They use it to their advantage. They have enough presence of mind to summon courage and apply it according to sound judgment. They do not scurry away from trouble; neither do they plunge headlong into the unknown. They don’t deny their fears, and they may even have some phobias, but they put their fears to good use and make sure they are tamed.