In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. – Bill Cosby

His dream of serving his country was greater than his fear of death. At the bottom of the page, click on the 'Photo' link to read more about this Congressional Medal of Honor winner, Les Williams, and the success of the Tuskegee Airmen.

What does that mean?
How many of us have a fear of failure? For him, as a comic, the failure would be very public and the feedback would be immediate and brutal. He must really have truly wanted to succeed more than anything else in the world.

We all have something we fear. For each of us, it will be in different areas of our lives and in different amounts, as we are all different people. The people who succeed in life are the people who can manage their fear. While they may look fearless, most will tell you there is still fear, but they go forward anyway. Courage is another term for that force that moves you forward, despite your fear. To me, that is what this quote is about.

Why is courage important?  
At, courage is defined as “the power or quality of dealing with or facing danger, fear, pain, etc.” Sounds fairly accurate, in my experience. Courage is doing what needs doing, despite the danger, despite the fear, despite the pain (present or anticipated). Courage is what gets things done.

Imagine where the planet would be if humans had no courage. Who would have explored the planet? Would Europe have ever discovered a trade route to Asia, or would they have never met? Would the seas have been explored, or would we have stayed so close to shore as to never discover any other oceans, islands or continents?

Courage is part of what makes humanity great. The courage to put one’s own life at risk to save or assist another. The courage to confront that which is wrong with society, despite the risk to one’s reputation or career. The courage to simply say ‘No’ when you are expected to comply. The courage to step onto the stage, when the cheers could easily turn to jeers, or worse.

Where can I apply this in my life?
How many of you ever were afraid to go up and talk to a person you had a crush on? How much of that was because you had a fear of failure? How many of you have ever briskly walked up to your boss and said “I deserve a raise!”? How much of that was based on a fear of being fired or publicly humiliated?

To me, building courage has usually been an incremental thing. What ever I am afraid of, or lack the courage to do, I start by pushing the fear back just a little. I used to really not like snakes. But the more I saw them on TV (Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom was one of my favorites), the less fear I had of them.

Eventually, it just happened. I was in the back yard with my mom doing some gardening and I saw a snake. I kind of freaked, but my mom said it was just a stick. I was incensed, as I knew what it was, so I grabbed it behind the head and held it up and said “It is too a snake!” That was pretty much the end of my fear of snakes.

Some fears, like the fear of falling, and by extension, a fear of skydiving, are hard to take in smaller steps. You either jump out of the plane or you don’t. Eventually, with a friend and former dive-master, I jumped. It was a blast. I’ll do it again sometime, just not right away. Once every few years, I think.

What do you lack the courage to face? Is it something you can sneak up on, or is it something you will have to dive into, head first? Grab some paper and write down at least three things you are not quite sure you’re ready to do. Then write down which approach you think will work best for you.

For anything that is head-first, all-in type action, write down why you absolutely must get this thing done. These are your reasons you absolutely must succeed. Until those reasons are greater than your fears, you will get nowhere. Take your time and really come up with reasons that are emotionally engaging and powerful.

How will your life be different, having done this thing as opposed to not having done it. How will it impact your future, or the future of those you care about? Now set a date by which you must do this before. Without a deadline, it will almost certainly be put off a few times, then a few more times. That’s not the way to success.

For the things where you want to grow your courage, write down what the steps are on the road to courage. Research snakes, visit them at a zoo, touch one at a pet store, what are your steps going to be? For each step, write down some ideas for where you could do these things, and a reason why you need to complete this step. Then put a deadline on each step.

You now have a list, a deadline, and some very good reasons to drive your desire. Now all you have to do is pick the first one you will work on and get busy. Put the deadlines on your calendar (write it big!), talk to someone who can help you, call a company that has what you need, look a subject up online. Take the first step on the road to success.

From: Twitter, @AR_Foundation
confirmed at :
Photo by jurvetson


About philosiblog

I am a thinker, who is spending some time examining those short twitter quotes in greater detail on my blog.
This entry was posted in courage, failure, fear, obstacles, personal growth, success and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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