I have dreams. They are not incredibly big nor impossible to realize. But they are persistent, recurrent, insistent. And the more time passes by, the more they're calling me. They are precise. When I close my eyes, I have the perfect vision of them. They are colorful, bright, vibrant. They have names, they have a life of their own. I dance with them every night before going to bed since the past few months.
Dreams come with fears
I have dreams. And I have fears. And I don’t want my fears to become so overwhelming that I let go of my dreams. These days, I'm looking at my biggest dream straight in the eyes and decided I’m going for it. And just to write this, to say, you know what people, I’m going to realize my dream, it scares the crap out of me. Because what if I fail? What if I screw up?
I’m so afraid to waste time and money and energy.
To deceive my loved ones.
To look ridiculous with my ideas.
To neglect my family while pursuing that dream.
To be unable to handle the pressure.
To feel overwhelmed.
What if I fail?
So what would really happen if I fail? Well… Nothing. I’ve failed so many times before. And I’m still alive. Maybe some people judged me. But my friends and family still love me. And the money, time and energy invested are never really lost because, guess what, we learn so much from our mistakes and our failures. If I fail, I can just get up again and keep going. Even the worst case scenario is not that catastrophic. If I fail.
And if I succeed…
What if I thrive and achieve my goal? What if I finally realize my dream? Am I ready for success? This question is a tricky one. Because I figured out I’m also scared of reaching my destination. I might not like it. I might not be able to handle the stress and busyness that comes with the realization of my dream. But I could also be totally delighted. I could feel incredibly proud. It could give others motivation to go ahead with their own dreams. And I could live a more fulfilling life, since my vision involves bringing something valuable to my community.
The best part
Ultimately, I think the best part of pursuing a dream is the venture. It’s crazy that I’m coming to this acknowledgement after reflecting on success, since it is at the very core of my painting philosophy: it’s all about the journey. Knowing nothing. Feeling like crap because you know nothing. Learning. Feeling better because you know better. Experimenting. Researching. Taking small steps and reaching some smaller goals. Looking back to see you’re halfway there. The destination is important, but the endeavor is somehow really enjoyable if you learn to appreciate the process.
So despite my fears, I made the decision to climb the stairway leading to that dream, one step at the time. The unknown is frightful for sure but I’m focusing on where I am right now. It is slightly uncomfortable but I can put up with how I feel at the present moment. I’m trying to acknowledge the fear when it shows up, let her know I see her and carry on! I believe you don’t have to be fearless to confront your fears.
The cost of failure is nothing. The cost of your fear could be EVERYTHING – your goals, your dreams, your life. Your fears aren’t worth being afraid of. Deal with them.
– Hien Lam, Coach | Author | Speaker | Co-Founder of Chillpill
Does fear of failure gets in the way of pursuing your dreams? How do you overcome it?