The courage to fail

“Some temptations are so great it takes great courage to yield to them,” Oscar Wilde once wrote. I remember it as I think of how much courage it takes to fail, and of the people I know who are trying, and sometimes failing, to make their dreams come true. There is a woman* (everyone in this story is a woman, regardless of his/her true gender to make it simpler and to partly hide the subject’s identity) I know who is trying her best to make her dreams come true. She’s not sure she will succeed, though. She has already failed, at least partly. Yet I see her, still, working and hoping and dreaming. I wish I have the courage to walk up to her and tell her how much I admire her courage.
There is another who dreams, but dares not make her dreams come true. Every so often she tries, but quits, without even getting halfway there. There are always many excuses for someone looking for excuses. Financial problems, personal problems, health problems. There will always be problems for a person who wants to have problems.
She convinces herself the problems are insurmountable, and incompatible with her dreams. So she gives up, one-fourth or one-tenth of the way. And continues to dream, of one day making her dreams come true. Maybe, she told herself the last time she gave up, maybe one day I will make my dream come true.
I don’t have the courage, either, to tell her that she is not fooling her friends, though she is making a fool of herself. I know, because I have denied myself a dream for a long, long time. I wanted it so hard and I was so afraid of failing that I just gave up on it, and pursued other dreams. There are so many dreams a person can have, so many things a person can be, that I forgot.
Then one day my sister told me it was my lucky year, one in which I should “dream of the impossible, because all of my dreams will come true.” My gift to myself that year was to allow myself to fail.
I tried the things I wanted to try, but did not, afraid that I would fail. I still dread failure, but I am beginning to accept it as a part of life. It is a consequence of trying to make a dream come true; it should not be the reason for backing out on a dream.


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