“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela.
If there’s one thing that holds us back more than anything else perhaps – it’s fear.
Fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. Fear of looking foolish. Fear of making a mistake, especially a big one.
Who can blame us? Why would we choose to be vulnerable and expose our inadequacies if we had a choice?
If anything, one would think we are programmed to avoid the discomfort of failure. In fact, we are. Call it nature’s way of protecting us from pain.
Unfortunately, if avoiding failure is our primary modus operandi, we put ourselves at a distinct disadvantage in the big game of life.
When we hesitate to ‘put ourselves out there’, we deprive ourselves of the essential experiences which always accompany trial and error; learning, adjusting and improving as we go.
It may seem counter intuitive, but by being more willing to fail – we open ourselves up to more opportunities for success. In the process, our confidence grows and we become emboldened to take on even bigger challenges.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it: “Do the thing you are afraid to do and the death of fear is certain.”
Here’s your challenge for today. Consider taking on a small task or project which creates fear for you. Approach it with a smile, knowing (and remembering) that you’ve tackled significant challenges in the past and have prevailed.
Make it a courageous week!