When I left for the military, I was afraid of two outcomes. The first fear was the most familiar to me, the fear of what life would be like if I failed. I remember wondering, what happens if I hate being a soldier and it’s not what I thought it would be? Leading up to the day I left for the Army, I had nothing to show for myself. I had failed at nearly everything I had tried so far and my fear was rooted in the thought of what would happen if I failed again. The second fear was not the fear of getting hurt, or even dying. It was the exact opposite of the fear of failure. What happened if I succeeded? This was a fear I was quite unfamiliar with up until that point. What if I crushed it? What if I followed my heart and began investing myself in something and I achieved the result I wanted this time? What if being a soldier was everything I thought it would be, and then some? What if I finally started catching my stride in life?
Which do you think was more terrifying? The fear of failure or the fear of success?
The fear of success, hands down. I was used to failing, so it wouldn’t be anything new to me. But success would mean I now knew what I was capable of. I had never truly experienced that before; at least not of this caliber. What would I do with the power of knowing that I could achieve anything I put my mind to?
Once I have reached my goal, then what? Being a soldier was my childhood dream. What if I reached my goal and realized I wanted something more? That’s called ambition. I believe ambition is designed to be intimidating because it’s what filters through the crowds of people who say they want something better for themselves and those who actually risk something to go get it.
Honestly, I was terrified of succeeding because that meant excuses wouldn’t work anymore. That meant I couldn’t take the easy way out anymore and blame my misfortunes on others. I had used excuses to avoid anything difficult up until this point of my life and if a succeeded than I would be in uncharted territory.
If fear is present in our lives regardless, why not face the fear with the strongest upside potential? Sometimes our ambitions may not work out as planned, but at least you can say you tried, which is more than most can say. Ambition is what fuels success because it’s what we set our sights on before we start the journey. That’s what makes it scary, we have no idea what the path ahead holds for us, all we know if where we want to go. That’s where faith comes in. Faith in God’s plan for us and trust in our own ability to follow that plan and get us to where we want to go.
Some of you reading this will laugh at the idea of being overly ambitious because you haven’t made failure your friend yet. I’m not afraid to fail anymore because I welcome it. I had grown accustomed to it for so long and finally I decided to embrace it’s power. Failure is what drives me to work harder for what I want, and shit yea I fear success, because it can be exhausting. Once you get a taste of success and accomplishment, you begin setting your sights even higher than you ever thought possible. You become addicted to seeing things through until the end and reaching your desired destination. But fear doesn’t have to hold you back. Trust in God, yourself, and those around you. Only you can decide if the risk is worth the reward.
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