Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the willingness to persevere through a challenge in spite of being afraid. In fact, if there is no fear then, there cannot be courage because courage is a response to fear.
Growing up I lacked all measure of courage and I tried every means imaginable to escape my life. I was caught in a true dilemma; I was afraid of both failure and success, and both led me to quit everything I started. Though I mostly just masked my fear with drugs and alcohol, and pretended as though becoming a drop-out and a drug addict did not bother me. Ironically, it was because my addiction divested me of hope and morality unto the point that my body was only a vestigial shell of a human, that I found the courage to fight for something greater; to fight for the life I had been granted and the place in our world I was promised. Those fears never left me, I am still to this day deftly afraid of failure because I know its pains all too well, and I am also afraid of success because I am not sure who I will become.
However, after losing everything but the glimmer of a dream to become a lawyer and to be the first person in my family to graduate from college, I was possessed with a willingness and a desire to face my fears, conquer my dreams, and break out of my shell.