Tanveer Naseer

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

Finding The Courage To Take That First Step

Have you ever had a project or idea that you dream about doing and yet, you find yourself struggling to find the drive to get started?  It’s a dilemma many of us have faced at one point or another.  In fact, I know of a few people who right now are facing this very problem of having plans they can’t seem to put into motion.  So what’s behind this inertia, this inability to dive in and pursue those dreams we hold so dear?

One factor that comes to mind is our fear of failure.  As these plans or ideas are something we aspire to do, there’s understandably a greater need to succeed.  Of course, what this also means is that we end up giving ourselves even less room to fail.  However, there’s a simple truth that would help us overcome any concerns about failing.  

The reason why we value these dreams or goals is because of our belief that they will make us feel more successful and more satisfied with our lives.  In this light, we can appreciate that the purpose behind taking this course of action is not simply to accomplish a particular goal.  Instead, it’s about changing course in order to give more meaning to our lives.  As such, it becomes less of an issue over how much we succeed at taking on this new role or idea and more about the benefits it adds to our life.

This gives rise to another concern that can paralyze us with inaction in the pursuit of our ambitions – the fear that these goals or dreams we have might not live up to the expectations we have for them.  Certainly, it’s a scary prospect to consider, of discovering that something we had hoped would be an improvement to our lives is anything but.

Still, there’s something important that we can gain even if those goals or dreams fail to live up to our expectations.  Indeed, through such a process, we can obtain some valuable insights about ourselves and the chance to re-examine how we define our lives and why.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote –

He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear”.

What better lesson in life can there be than attaining a deeper appreciation for who we really are and what will truly matter in our lives.

So don’t be afraid of whether this activity is going to live up to your expectations, or that you won’t be as good at it as you think or worse that you might fail miserably at it.  Don’t pay attention to how long it might take to finally get to the place you want to go.  Instead, focus on the fact that you were able to strike up your resolve and find the courage to take that first step, ready to embrace the lessons you’ll learn along the way.

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3 Comments
  1. On October 2nd, 2010 at 1:13 PM ronald_thomas said:

    Great Post! My mother had a favorite saying " The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step". Never forgot that

  2. On October 2nd, 2010 at 1:28 PM Tanveer Naseer said:

    Thanks Ronald; I appreciate that. Without question, making any kind of change is hard, that is until we recognize that the biggest obstacle to us making the effort to push ahead is fear. Once we come to terms with that, it becomes easier to take that first step because we realize we're doing it to change things for the better.

    Thanks for sharing your memory of your mom's favourite saying, Ronald. And it's good seeing you here as well.

  3. On October 2nd, 2013 at 8:58 AM Steven J Fromm said:

    Very inspirational post. Our fears always get in the way unless we work especially hard to recognize and conquer them. Challenges are how we grow and evolve and running from our fears never serves us well. Thanks for the reminder and inspiration!

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