• Christine Ward

It Takes Courage to Create Success

How Being Brave can be Beneficial:

A friend of mine made mention of not being afraid of failure today. I applauded his way of thinking and continued to have some deep thoughts regarding myself. I have always been a ‘just do it and see what happens’ sort of person. I have failed and failed again trying something new and different, but I’ve also seen a fair amount of success.

The What Ifs:

I don’t count success as some big, grand triumph. Success is not just becoming famous. It’s the little triumphs in life that amount to really seeing dreams come true. So many people cannot see past their fears to do something profound. It comes right down to the “what ifs.”

  • “What will they think of me?”

  • “What happens if I can’t do it?”

  • “What if I look stupid?”

Something I’ll Never Forget:

The more I thought about this; I remembered something. When I was in college (technical college is still college), I had a Psych professor who said something I’ll never forget. She said, “Fear of failure isn’t that at all. It is more accurately fear of success.” Boom.

That one little statement she made has stayed with me these last ten years. What she meant was that you are highly unlikely to succeed in life if you don’t take some chances. If you pass on your dreams because you doubt yourself – can you truly ever be happy?

Unexpected Phone Call:

So – I was still thinking about the fear of success while I did the dishes and picked up a little around the house, and the phone rang. It was another friend of mine asking how to boil eggs. We talked about the fact that you can’t just drop cold eggs into boiling water (ha-ha), and we went on to talk about life and relationships and the like.

The thing about me is I don’t like superficial conversation, when you call me, we’ll likely have a whole in-depth discussion about the meaning of life and what it means to love. Or how to boil eggs or whatever. So, I mentioned to this friend that I’d been thinking about what it means to be fearful of success.

Right to the Point:

This person revealed that they are usually not someone that has a problem with taking chances but does have one big issue that prevents him from doing something he really wants to do. He’s always wanted to go back to school. He had trouble in his youth and didn’t do well but has always wanted to go back.

Of course, me being me, I asked him what the hell was stopping him. He thought about it for a minute, the phone line was silent, and I’d thought I’d lost him. Finally, he spoke up and what he said made me so, so sad. Quietly he said, “I’m afraid to find out that I really am stupid.” Whoa. I immediately informed this man of his actual intelligence and went into deep conversation about my many failures. But I’m not going to go into my failures right now; I’m going to elaborate on my successes. Big and (mostly) small.

Should’ve, Would’ve, Did:

I never thought I’d graduate high school. I moved around so many times during my teenage years that I cannot tell you how many different high schools I attended. That didn’t mean I was stupid. As a teenager, I made the conscious decision never to disappoint my grandmother, come hell or high water, and that I was going to do whatever it took to graduate, and I did it.

I thought I’d never get my driver’s license. No one had ever taken the time to teach me how to drive, we didn’t have the money for driver’s ed, and I was so scared even to try. My cousin took me under her wing, and although I was terrified to go through the one intersection in West Milton, Ohio, I set my mind to it (with her help), and I triumphed over that intersection without crashing.

Never Would I Ever:

Fear is natural, but it takes courage to create success. What I mean by that is to reach any goal, whether big or small, it takes conscious effort to try, even through fear. There are so many times that I have failed. If I let fear run my life, I would have never done the things that I am so proud of today.

  • I would have never gotten my first big girl job.

  • Marriage would never have happened.

  • I wouldn’t have gone back to school.

  • My babies would have never been born.

  • I wouldn’t have quit my career to do something I love.

I’m Definitely not Perfect:

Now – I’m not saying that I haven’t let fear prevent me from doing some things. I have. I have also almost always kicked fear in the ass and done the thing anyway. I have failed. I have also succeeded. Are you really living if you’re too afraid to take a chance? What’s the worst that can happen?

Thanks for reading!


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