Dreams vs The Fear of Failure

Hey guys, how’s it going?

I’ve tried to write this blog post a few times already with limited success. But if you’re reading this today then it looks like I finally got myself together – yay me! Sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes to get the ball rolling.

Despite the intermittent rain and setting off a bit later in the day than planned, we went to Margate last weekend (a cute little seaside town in Kent, England). For about six hours, I forgot about my worries and I just lived the dream.


Quite literally. There’s a sort-of amusement park in Margate called Dreamland which recently re-opened after being closed to the public for 12 years. I guess we must have missed the opening hours or something because it was like a ghost town when we arrived. But still, I loved just observing its foundations whilst the setting was quiet and unoccupied.

I must say Dreamland isn’t anything special at all, but you could see they’d clearly tried to make the best out of the little budget they probably had to create a “dream”. And I believed in it. Evidently, Dreamland had failed numerous times before its reopening, but yet it still stands there in Margate today. A historic treasure, colourful and vast.

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Whilst I was in Margate, I ate apple pie dipped in chocolate chip vanilla ice cream (simply delicious – you must try it); beat my boyfriend at mini golf; soaked up the sun, sea, sand and sights… and appreciated a fresh perspective on life. It was great! Although I was trying to escape reality for a moment, my mind partially wandered to think about my own dreams and life goals. So that brings us onto the question of the day:

What would you do if failure was not an option?

You’ve heard that question before right? It’s provocative, annoying and a necessary thinking exercise all in one. These sort of questions expose the true issue for some of us – not a lack of ambition or pursuit of credible ideas, but rather a fear of failure.

The truth is, everyone fails so fearing it is a waste of time. It’s part of the process and we should really try to embrace failure before it swallows us whole. If we didn’t fail sometimes, we wouldn’t truly appreciate our successes, or learn valuable lessons from our previous shortcomings. Award-winning author J. K. Rowling, a self-proclaimed “failure” was once unemployed and depressed. Whilst caring for her child as a divorced single mother, she made the time to go to coffee shops and scribble down what seemed like fantastical nonsense about wizards and magic. Rowling was told “no” countless times before Harry Potter was finally published. Now, her famous Harry Potter series has earned over $400 million in book sales and has recently even been made into a play. Still not convinced? The legendary basketball player Michael Jordan is often quoted as saying:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

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Yes I agree, it’s sickeningly cringe and probably an exaggeration. I’m not massively swayed by the persuasive quote or the numbers and I’m not asking for you to be either. I just love the wider meaning. I’ve said this in a previous blog post, but quitters never win. The moment you give up on your dream is the same instance which it becomes impossible by default. The moral of it all is that even the “greats” in their field have failed yet they continue to succeed despite the bumps. It carefully shapes them into the notable figures we see today.

Personally I have a lot of dreams and aspirations, as many of us do. Some are so big I haven’t even conceptualised in a concrete way how they might be possible. But that’s cool. I’m truly grateful that I shouldn’t have to worry about every meticulous detail of the how, where and whens of my goals because God does all that stuff for us. He causes Davids to shake the status quo and defeat the Goliaths of society despite the odds (1 Samuel: 17). With God in your corner, how can your dream be too big though?!

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

Today I encourage you (and myself!) to dream bigger and better than you already do. Yes, along the way you’ll almost definitely have to deal with external factors like critics, setbacks and all the rest of it. But don’t let your own fear be your worst enemy and stop you from even trying or pushing through hardship. Believe in your ability, dreamers. 

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So I’ll ask again – what would you do if failure was not an option?

God bless you!

Wunms.

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8 thoughts on “Dreams vs The Fear of Failure

  1. Interesting blog Wunmi, I found in my twenties that I used to put off big decisions, you’ve got ages to do these things right!! However some of the best and most rewarding things in my life have come from making decisions to go for something when it’s a bit scary and i could have stayed on the familiar path, but scary is good right? If something is challenging it has the potential to be more rewarding. I was thinking about the Bobby Kennedy quote I read recently ” we have to be optimistic, just because there is no other way… We can’t go on, but we must go on” So when I find myself wondering whether to take the path less trodden, I always hear myself saying “but scary is good right? “

    Liked by 1 person

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