We've all heard the old saying, "Anything worth having is worth fighting for."

I'll admit that this statement can be annoying, because sometimes, let's face it: we want things to come easily.

Life, though, is a balance of finding out what we actually want and then figuring out how to get it. Sometimes we don't get what we want, and it ends up being a blessing in disguise. Other times we get exactly what we want, and it becomes our worst nightmare. If you are anything like me, then you tend to hold back on doing things you truly want out of fear of failing. I always think the cost of failure or hurt is worse than the possible benefits.

There are so many ways to fail: a bad relationship, making bad decisions, and even just making decisions that personally don't make us happy. It is so easy to look around and find people who have failed in many ways, because the catch is that everyone has failed. I know a guy who has always regretted not asking out that girl he liked because he was too nervous that she would humiliate him by saying no. In his own way he has failed, because he didn't follow his heart and fight for what he wanted. It sounds cliché, but the worst thing that he could hear if he took a chance with the girl is two little letters put together, "no." That one word would hurt for a while, but not forever. Humans are resilient, and each experience we have is a lesson.

Avoiding disappointment and fear of judgment seem to be at the heart of many decisions that we make. There are so many people out there who are in a club or a sport that they don't even enjoy, just because they don't know how to get out of it. It's scary telling someone that you care about that you don't share his or her interest or passion for something. It's hard to be honest with other people sometimes, because for most people getting out of something is substantially more difficult than getting yourself into it. It's easy to be idealistic and want to do everything and please everyone; yet, there are also times that being honest to both yourself and those people around you is the only way.

I, on the other hand, struggle with getting myself invested in things. I am afraid of taking chances and fighting for what I want. At times I find myself standing by motionless, watching other people get what I want, even when I rightfully deserve it.

I (we) know that failure and disappointment are a part of life. There are times when my standing by doing nothing has been a form of failure. For some, the fear of disappointing others is preventing them from truly enjoying what they want. Each of these moments develops us into the people we want to be. As nice as it sounds, who really wants to be someone who has never been hurt? It sounds great, but if you are never hurt then you never can realize what it truly means to be happy. All disappointments and failures are only temporary. There is always another opportunity to succeed, just like anyone who truly cares about you will understand you making a choice to be happy.

Therefore, it's my thought that people hold back for fear of failing. As Robert Schuller has asked many others, "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"

— Samantha Warchol is a sophomore in psychology. She can be reached at swarchol@utk.edu.