A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms against himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it.” [Ambrose Bierce].It has often been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. You will discover that in life the most difficult thing is taking the first step. Fear is one of the things that has terrorised most people into inaction. A lot of people have been immobilised and rendered helpless by fear. Great ideas, great songs, great poems, awesome businesses are trapped in people who are afraid to come out and start something.
Fear works against you and your destiny. There is always a possibility that you can fail, but there is also a possibility that you can succeed.
Do not concentrate on the frustrations of failure but focus on the joys of success. Every achievement that made a breakthrough for the whole of human kind was linked to taking action and overcoming the fear of failure.
The thought of fear can and will always be there
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” [Ambrose Redmoon].
Great people choose to focus on their faith and not their fears.
We go through or we might have gone through this stage whereby we ask ourselves certain questions which are related to fear for example; will this idea work out?
Will people believe in me? What if the business does not succeed? What if the marriage will not work? How will I survive if I leave what I am doing and start on this adventure? Will I make enough to see me cover the expenses for the month and live? Will I pass since I have failed three times before? The questions are endless.
We meet these questions in life. Every great person was met with some of these questions when they were embarking on a project.
The Wright Brothers were not the first people to attempt to fly, there were some people who had made prior attempts at this, and some had even lost their lives.
There was possibility that the Wright Brothers were constructing their own coffin instead of constructing a breakthrough for mankind! It’s the thought of fear. Faith justifies why it is possible, fear justifies why it is impossible. Fear is brewed internally (what we tell ourselves) and externally (what others tell us). Convince yourself that you can and that you can overcome your fear of failure and whatever people will tell you will be heresy.
The thought of failure can be there, but you need to master the art of dominating it.
“All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” [Walt Disney]
Act as if it were impossible to fail
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
[Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.]. Don’t wait until you have everything that you think you need before you can start – use what you have! Ignore your fears and focus on your faith. History records of several man and women who ventured into new areas armed with nothing but their vision and the confidence that what they saw can come into reality.
God gives you ideas, visions, and dreams for a purpose.
He does not send you empty-handed. The presence of a vision means its provision has been made.
Take the leap of faith and try that idea.
The motivation for success must inspire you beyond you fear of failure. Bill Cosby even put in an interesting way, “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”
Certain things will get in place the moment you take the first step in the direction you want to go. Sometimes it might be too dark to see the light, but great people shine bright in the midst of difficulties.
Difficulty is never the equivalent of impossibility, keep moving forward. “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” [Dale Carnegie]
Do not let fear commit you into oblivion
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” [Dale Carnegie].
Opportunities have been missed by people who were afraid to pursue their dreams for one reason or another. Excuses never compensate for inaction, and neither is the explanation of failure enough a substitute.
Do not delay, do not hesitate, take a step of faith and do the very thing that you want to do.
There is more honour in failing while trying, than in winning at doing nothing.
The pain of failure is easy to bear than the pain of regret.
American author, Mark Twain said something so profound, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.” Get off your comfort zone, challenge your fears and attain greatness.
Inspire others with your courage
A lot of people do not want to take the first step; they want to follow the steps of others.
Courage is what distinguishes leaders from followers.
Leaders take the lead and inspire the people behind to follow them.
There are a lot of people with pioneering ideas but they do not want to unleash them in order to save their emotions in the event that failure becomes imminent. You must risk failure in order to win, but you need to start by overcoming the fear of failure. “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” [Ralph Waldo Emerson]
You have nothing to lose
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
[T. S. Eliot]. One of the keys that can help you overcome fear is the “NOTHING TO LOSE” approach. There are two consequences if you take action; you can either fail or succeed. If you fail, it is a golden opportunity for you to discover what went wrong or possibly just to try something else. You have not lost anything.
If you try a business idea and it does not work, you have not lost anything because you never had anything before, if you try to secure that interview with that businessperson and it does not sail through, you have not lost anything because you never met him or her before, if you try to write that professional course and you fail, you have not lost anything because you never had it before.
The scenarios are many, but you need to learn to be positive in the midst of negativity, and this will help you overcome your fears.
If you share my faith, you might know something from the story of Esther who was entrusted with the lives of the Jewish people.
She had the fear that if she goes to the King’s chambers without an invite and the king does not raise a scepter, death was inevitable.
Upon further consultations with Mordecai, she made a very profound statement, “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day.
My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” Esther 4:16 (NKJV) (emphasis mine). Motivate yourself beyond your fears.
The possibility of success should propel you to overcome the thought of failure.
Join me on Star FM every first Wednesday of the month (09:30am-10:00am) for some moments of inspiration on the Breeze with Tariro and Iyati.
Arthur Marara is an Attorney, Author and Speaker. He is also the author of the Personal Development Toolkit, Keys to Financial Freedom, The Power Within, and Keys to Effective Time Management. Send your feedback to [email protected] or Like his page on Facebook, or Whatsapp: +263 718 867 255