My favorite quote is "Fortune Favors the Bold" (Virgil). The older I've gotten, the more wisdom I've found in this saying.
It is easy to become fearful; in fact, I believe that mainstream media encourages fearfulness. Negative things happen to everyone. Every successful person has his or her share of disappointment.
I believe, however, that you have to concentrate on the fact that with risk, often comes reward. For example, baseball players with the best home run records as having the worst strike out records as well. If you are living your life to your full potential, not every plan is going to work out as intended. You will encounter disappointment, but what is important is how you deal with it.
Examine the way that you look at fearful situations. My own definition of "failure" (and each of us have our own) is to go through an experience and not learn something. If you think about it, I have made it very difficult for myself to feel like a failure. Why set yourself up with negativity?
How you think about a situation will determine how you move forward. It can be hard to be "BOLD" when you feel a failure. Even if you have a perfectly good reason to be negative, even if your negativity is not your "fault" (e.g. you are dwelling on what someone else has said or done) it still has the power to shut down your ability to move forward effectively, boldly.
Any negativity is destructive, regardless of where it originates. I am not suggesting you simply "think pretty thoughts" and ignore the reality of life. Bad things happen, and are often beyond your control. But you don't have to let them take over your positive outlook. See them for what they are, and commit to finding the positive in them.
I believe that it is very important that you don't let your fears and suppositions get in your path. How many times have you not tried to accomplish something, or did not ask for something (a raise, a book deal, a job) because you were sure (in advance) the answer would be no? How many things have you not attempted because you were sure it could not be done?
If you are sure it can't be done, you will stop looking for ways to do it. There is a famous quote, which I will paraphrase, that says, "Those who say things can't be done are generally run over by those who are doing it."
Being bold means that you keep working at it until you find an approach that works. It means that you don't let the fact that something hasn't been done in the past keep you from doing it now.
You control your actions. Being bold means that you may hit the proverbial "brick wall" more often than others. It also means that you will experience more success because you will try more and not let negativity sideline you (at least not for long) when you experience setbacks.
If you like the image above, you can print out a full size version at this link: Fortune Favors the Bold!