In this essay, I discuss the root and meaning of anxiety before turning my attention to the relationship between anxiety and courage, arguing that courage is often a defense against anxiety: an externalization of an internal crisis. Discourses of courage draw attention away from the true problem of anxiety, rather than addressing it, sponsoring a kind of uncourageousness by externalizing anxiety, transposing it onto concrete and manageable external feared objects. Furthermore, courage and bravery discourses do not accord with the reports of persons who have performed brave acts, who describe their behavior either as forms of service to internalized values or as moments of madness. Contemporary courage discourses reinforce the belief that, in courage, there is a component of the self that is capable of helping the self in times of need. Yet, this helper self is either substantially degraded or missing entirely in the case of anxiety, which is organized around failures of help and consequent experiences of shame and helplessness.