Fear is far worse than failure.

Fear is far worse than failure.

Imagine you are at the gym, working up a sweat at the ellipticals, and you happen to catch a glance of a really attractive lady. Basically, at that moment, you are 100% certain this is the most attractive human being you've ever seen. Naturally, your instincts take over. You are busy scheming how to approach her and strike up a conversation that would lead to the proverbial exchange of phone numbers. Unfortunately, in the midst of all this scheming, doubt starts to creep in. Doubt in the form of reason. You tell yourself it is probably inappropriate to approach someone working out at the gym. You also remind yourself of the painful cost of rejection. You strengthen this negative feeling with the promise of public humiliation should you venture to talk to this person. Slowly, you find your workout is completely disrupted because your mind is completely fragmented with thoughts on the current situation. Your rhythm on the elliptical is completely screwed up while you deliberate on making a move or saving face. Eventually, as in most cases, the pretty woman finishes her workout and leaves the gym, leaving you rationalizing your cowardly resolve.

The situation I just described is one that occurs every day for most of us in different ways. But the common theme is always fear overcoming ambition. The fear of failure. Fear being one of our most primal instincts protects us from danger. But sometimes, it tends to get in the way of what could be great progress. For example, in the gym scene, had you gone up to the girl, chances are you could have gotten her contact information, and who knows where that may have led. But since you didn't even bother to find out if that's possible, you will never know. And that's worse than trying and getting rejected in public. Sure, you got to save face, but in the grand scheme of things, that is really irrelevant.

The fear of failure has tamed a lot of wild, ambitious minds I know. The fear that taking up a venture might paralyze them financially. While a valid reason to fear risk, it is also important to point out that these friends of mine are in their late twenties and have very little responsibility tethering them. Let's say they were in their forties and with family; then it is easy to understand avoiding the risk. As I sit in my bedroom and write this, I confess that I am not completely immune to fear. Every once in a while, doubt creeps in, and I wonder if I am doing the right thing. However, I counter the doubt by imagining what the positive outcome would be. I don't know about most people, but it always helps to daydream about success. It keeps my mind limber and optimistic in the face of jarring obstacles. For two people with low-paying jobs, it is even more challenging to start a clothing line; however, we let our passion be our guide and strength.

My brother and I are very aware of the risk and chances of failure in starting a clothing line. However, what we know intrinsically is the resulting sorrow from giving up and wondering what would have been.

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