Run to the Roar

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”-Nelson Mandela

According to an old African folktale, a herd of gazelles was feeding lazily on the grasses of the Serengeti, when a pride of hungry lions caught wind of them. Gazelles, as you may know, have little trouble outrunning even the fastest of lions. So, lions must outsmart their prey.

The lions walked stealthily toward the gazelles, but stopped well short, downwind of the herd, at which time a feeble, old male lion broke silently from the others and snuck around to the far side of the antelopes, positioning himself in the tall grass where he could not be seen.

Once the frail lion – which posed no real threat to the speedy gazelles — was in place, other members of the pride jumped to their feet and rushed at full speed toward the herd of antelopes.

Instinctively, the startled antelopes sensed danger and, with lightning reactions, fled directly away from the approaching predators. Safety, they knew, awaited them that way.

Of course, in this instance, that way was toward the old lion staged cleverly in the tall grasses. As the herd approached him, the frail old lion stood up, gathered all his strength, and roared with all the meanness he could muster.

“Oh no!” thought the gazelles. “Hold everything! We’re going the wrong way! Let’s turn around and get out of here! It’s dangerous going this direction”. The antelopes quickly executed a U-turn and ran straight for the powerful jaws of the approaching pride. –African folktale


Safety is often found by heading directly toward the threat not by running away from it.

How often is this true? When you run from things that scare you, you move toward danger, not away from it. If you fail to face your fears, they will always be right there behind you. You must suppress the little voice inside that’s telling you to run.

When you feel that panicky fight-or-flight sensation and you want to run away, do the opposite. Run toward the roar.

Turning your back on the roar will feel good in the moment. You will feel safe once you have put some distance between yourself and the threat you thought about tackling.

But hiding deep in your brain is a far more challenging opponent you didn’t even know was there: death. The death of the dreams and goals you have planted deep down inside you. Slowing you will have robbed yourself of the opportunity to stare down something that scared you. Live this way long enough, and the muscles of your faith will eventually atrophy.

Yes, running toward the roar can be difficult. It can cause anxiousness and there are no guarantees. It’s also possible to misjudge the direction of the roar you are trying to run toward. It could be a dead end. But that’s life. At least you went after what you were pursuing. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Run toward the roar!


  1. What fear are you avoiding today?
  2. What are you being called to in life that scares you? What roar do you need to run to?
  3. How can you and/or your team use this message to help you?


Moving Forward:

  1. For a week, do 1 thing a day to help you face a fear.
  2. For motivation to run to your roar, follow @run2roar on twitter or Instagram.
  3. Share this message with someone that needs to have the faith to run to their roar.

“Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.” -Unknown

This story along with 29 others can be found in “Challenger Deep Stories, Fables, and Lessons to Help You Rise Above Adversity”

Tami Matheny is owner of Refuse2LoseCoaching. She is a Mental Game Coach and Author. Her books include: “This is Good” at:, “The Confident Athlete: 4 Easy Steps to Build and Maintain Confidence”, “Challenger Deep,” and “The Confidence Journal”. All books can be purchased online at Amazon. For group discounts or signed copies contact

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