Master Your Fears

James Ouma
Posted February 8, 2016 from Kenya

I first posted this on The Making of Jim Buttons blog.

Didier Drogba is one of the most brilliant footballers to have ever come out of Africa. However, after featuring in three African Nations Cup finals, he never featured on the winning side. Instead, Ivory Coast became champions after he had retired from international football.

After heading in the goal that took Chelsea to extra time against Bayern Munich on May 20, 2012 at the Allianz Arena, a heavy weight rested on his shoulders.This wasn’t going to be the first time Drogba was going to take a decisive penalty. Thoughts of losing crucial penalties, in the past, weighed heavily on his mind.

Drogba remembered his miss against Egypt in 2006. He also remembered his miss against Zambia, a few months earlier. He hadn’t forgotten his red card when Chelsea faced Manchester United in the Champions League final in 2008.

What’s more, he was facing Manuel Neuer, one of the best goalkeepers in the world who had saved penalties against Real Madrid during the semi final. Bayern had never lost a penalty shoot in a final while Chelsea had never won one. That is too much pressure and weight on one individual.

With the penalty shootout hanging on a 3-3 see-saw, Drogba’s penalty kick was going to be one of the most decisive in his career. It was already clear that he wasn’t going to be a Chelsea player anymore (but this was to change after he made a comeback). Despite all the pressure weighing heavily on his shoulders; his past misses and his fear of missing yet again, only one thing remained clear in his mind. He was going to conquer his fear! There was no doubt about it.

In Conclusion

Was Didier Drogba lucky? None of his many achievements has anything to do with luck. He heard the sound of his name being mentioned on the winner's podium long before it happened. Her took the chances he had been given. He worked hard and by mastering his fears, he emerged victorious.

The question is, what are you going to do with the lemons that life keeps throwing at you? Are you going to make lemonade the way others have done before? Or, are you going to throw the lemons back and ask for apples instead?

The choice is yours.

I’ve been criticized. I’m not big on talent or size, but I want to progress and I have shown the critics… there’s no room for everyone; but there’s room for the work. God rewarded me.”

Boubacar Barry, after Ivory Coast won the African Nations Cup in 2015.

Comments 3

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Sally Nduta
Feb 09, 2016
Feb 09, 2016

Dear Hawi,

Thank you for sharing this piece. Many times, in our journey of life, we tend to focus so much on the road ahead as opposed to looking back and marvelling at what we have achieved. This happens to me, when I look at my achievements, I get the motivation and fuel to push on ahead with my plans. 

I say this because sometimes when we get stressed with what we are yet to accomplish, in this state our fears can creep in and distrast our motivation to forge ahead. 

Thank you Hawi for reminding to be bold and to visualize where we want to be.


James Ouma
Feb 09, 2016
Feb 09, 2016

Hey Sally,

That's so true, in so many ways. When we focus on the journey ahead, we are able to keep working towards our goals in life. I wish you all the best in your journey towards excellence. And remember to give back by investing into the lives of young people so the circle can be complete

Soumya Vilekar
Feb 09, 2016
Feb 09, 2016

Dear Hawi,

This was an amazing share of conquering the fears. The most important part of any decision making or following a dream is the part where we conquer the fear,the rest follows smoothly,but this moment is the most crucial one for any individual.

To belief in one self ,tht one can and is equally important in the contribution of a change is very vital.

Thanks for the excellent thought.

Best wishes,


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