There’s a reason countries like the US, Britain, and Rome collapse from preeminence: you can’t do everything and be everything to everybody.
In addition to distracting you from priorities, taking on more than you can chew slows down your reaction time. When you finally do commit, the effort is either too late or half-assed.
Hegemony only lasts as long as there’s real hard power, plus a strong will to be #1. Flexing your muscles signifies nothing.
There’s nothing wrong with a fear of failure as long as the inherent goal is to do the world some good. Doing the right thing is all that matters. It’s just that the best ideas fail to work out.
“Putinism is a bad idea that must be countered by a good one.” – James Traub