Once, there lived a boy named Richard, he dreamt of climbing the tallest tree in his neighborhood. Every day, he would stand at the base of the tree, staring up at its towering branches with awe and longing, but despite his desire to conquer it, Richard could never muster the courage to take that first step; instead, he watched enviously as his friends scaled the tree with ease, their laughter ringing through the air as they reached the highest branches. Richard’s fear held him back, whispering doubt and uncertainty.

If, like Richard, you have ever been held back by fear or any limiting beliefs, then you need to pay attention to this.

In life, cowardice can be a barrier or hindrance holding you back from pursuing your dreams or taking the requisite action.  Like Richard, fear or cowardice often stems from uncertainty, the fear of failure, rejection, and doubt.

Being fearful is not necessarily the problem, but when you allow yourself to be consumed by it, to the point that it becomes crippling, and you cannot do a thing, or take action, then, it becomes worrisome.

Fear or cowardice can often manifest as procrastination, hesitation, avoidance, and even shyness.  Fear, in itself, is not the issue, fear is merely an emotion that demands to be felt. It is a human thing to feel fear, but you must always push through the fear. As the popular saying goes, “Do it afraid, do it scared.”

In the great words of Nelson Mandela,

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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 it.”

Nelson Mandela

Within every one of us lies the potential to overcome fear and be courageous. It is a skill that can be acquired. If, like Richard, you have allowed fear to stop you from pursuing your dreams or embracing opportunities, I need you to know that it is not a life sentence, and you do not have to live that way, forever.

You can work towards overcoming your fears in whatever form they come.

Adopt the following steps:

  1. Push Boundaries: Always step out of your comfort zone. No matter how minute it is, take an action that pushes you out of your comfort zone. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone“.¬† Courage is like a muscle and every exercise counts. Like they say, little drops make an ocean. If you do this consistently, you can build up your courage muscle. Courage is cultivated through actions.
  2. Positive Affirmation: Most times, fear and cowardice are fueled by negative self-talk. Learn to affirm yourself. It is not cliché to look into the mirror and talk yourself into believing that you are an extraordinary human and that you can do and achieve anything you set out to do. The more you affirm yourself, positively, the easier it is to believe in yourself. This also means you steer clear of negative influences or people and situations that fuel your insecurities.

To every ‘Richard’ out there, you can do whatever you put your mind to do. The journey to overcoming your fear requires consistency, self-acceptance, patience, self-reflection, and self-love. This is not a journey that requires self-deprecating and negative self-talk. It’s not an impossible task, within you lies the potential to overcome your fears and embrace courage.