Dear Quiet Minds,
It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all.
Failure is like an eerie, dark fence enclosed around your mind. Whenever you think of a dream or a goal that you want to accomplish, there comes a point when you reach the fence surrounding your mind and can’t go any further. Failure is inevitable. In some places, you will be able to succeed exceptionally, but in many other areas, you will easily fail. You touch the damp wooden fence, feel its splinters and realize that you can’t achieve a dream. You allow the fear to consume you. Sometimes fearing failure is what ultimately causes you to fail. It is a shadow that constantly follows you, creeping into the deepest desires of your heart. This is what stops us from growing into our full potential. As Tullian Tchividjian once said, “The deepest fear we have, ‘the fear beneath all fears,’ is the fear of not measuring up, the fear of judgment. It’s this fear that creates the stress and depression of everyday life.”
I constantly feel like I am not measuring up because of my fears to fail. This, in the end, causes a vicious cycle where your fears of not measuring up cause you to give up on your dreams and because you fail you don’t measure up. Coming round full circle is what impedes you from taking on new projects because you don’t see how much you can offer. Unfortunately, fearlessness is not an easy trait to come by because experiences and social constructs introduce you to fears that you don’t know how to approach with courage. Like your own shadow, failure is always with you, popping up in the worst possible moments.
Recently I’ve feared writing a book. Ever since I was in middle school, I have dreamed of being an author and seeing my book on the shelves of stores. However, I’ve also read many books and found that there are so many authors out there that have a talent with words. It’s a talent that they may have gained naturally and due to the large number of experts in the writing field, I fear that my talents have not reached those heights. However, because of this, I push book ideas to the back of my mind where they eventually fall into the abyss of insignificance. All the details and characters that I created fizzle out into nothingness until I can’t remember what my ideas were to begin with.
This sad parting makes me feel like I’ve lost something very important. It’s an idea that I can never return to its original state because of all the times it got lost in the back of my mind. This is ultimately when you start living so cautiously, like Rowling said, that you enter a state of dwelling on your dreams and forget to live. I’ve been living cautiously these past few years, allowing schoolwork to consume me, but I’ve realized that once school ends, time would have been wasted. I need to start acting. Although the shadow called Failure will always be with me, I have to start turning on the light and allow it to illuminate my dreams and hide the shadows. Even though the shadow is still there, lighting the right path to your dreams and walking that path will allow you to feel much more productive and happy.
Remember failure is inevitable, but dreams are one in a million. Take action before they get lost in your quiet mind.