(originally posted 10/27/2017 on www.cdennismoore.com)
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
–Paulo Coelho, THE ALCHEMIST, page 146
That’s not to say that overcoming that fear is going to guarantee success, but bowing to is definitely going to guarantee failure, make no mistake about that.
But fear of failure is a very powerful obstacle, especially when other people are watching. Failing alone behind a closed door is one thing, but to fail with “all the world (the potential of the internet) watching” is another thing altogether. No one wants to fail in front of everyone they know and love.
But wouldn’t you rather fail and say “At least I tried” than get to the end of your life and regret all the things you never did? Believe me, you are going to die. We all are. And since we have no idea when that day is coming, the time to make your mark on the world is NOW.
You might fail. And if you do, you get up and try again. Each failure is a lesson, and we try again with that new knowledge in mind: this is what didn’t work, so I’ll try a different approach to reach the same goal. If you lock yourself out of the house, you don’t keep trying to open the locked door, do you? No, you find another way in.
And that’s all failure is, a locked door. So you regroup and go try another door, or a window. And if all else fails? If every door and window is locked tight and you need to get inside? Break in. NEVER let fear of failure keep you from reaching your goals.
In an interview on the DON’T KEEP YOUR DAY JOB pod cast, animator/director Saul Blinkoff said if the listeners remembered nothing of else of what he said, there was one thing they needed to take away from his interview. At the end of the day, say to yourself this sentence: “Today, no one worked harder than me.” And if it’s not the truth, then you’ve still got some more work to do before you go to bed.
His interview was amazing and inspirational and I encourage everyone to listen to it. He definitely made me realize I could totally be working harder.
But the point to bringing it up is this, he had a dream since childhood, to be an animator for Disney Studios. And he failed. And he failed again. And he failed again. Finally, he gave up. But worthwhile dreams never really die, sometimes you just need a few minutes to regroup. And when he made up his mind this was what he wanted to do with his life, he worked and worked and worked night and day, perfecting his craft, until he got that call: he’d made the cut.
Never let fear of failure stop you. You can fail a thousand times, but you only need to succeed ONCE.