I learned that I can choose to see failure as the end of the world and as a proof of just how inadequate I am. Or, I can see failing...
How often do we let the fear of failure program our subconscious mind to think of nothing but failure? How often do we set really big goals that ends up scaring us into inaction or laxity till we eventually do not go all out to achieve the goals? Fear which if not tamed would cripple our abilities and mindset so much that that despite all efforts, failure never seems far away, always knocking. This kind of fear never allows us to truly reach the best of our potentials.
Let me tell you my love story.
By the time I was 15 and in year 5 of secondary school, I already knew the worth of true love and I already knew the kind of marriage I wanted. In retrospect, I guess this was because of two things. First was that I had seen the type of love my dad and mum shared and the kind of home they have built together and the other reason I suppose is that, I had seen and heard other adults come to regret their married life because of an unfaithful, irresponsible husband or wife.
I realized early on that love was different from lust, and that it was okay to like that new girl in school or the brilliant girl in my class but that it wasn’t okay to take all that like and interests for love. I realized that love was more sacred than that youthful lust and exuberance that children my age exhibited. So the 15 year old me, who was battling to understand my chemistry lessons made a resolve that I desired above many other things to go all the way into marriage with the first person I will ever date.
My resolve meant three things. One was that I wasn’t going to get into any relationship without being convinced I loved the person truly and unconditionally. It also meant that I will have to commit myself totally to the relationship, giving it my very best and lastly, it meant that I could not possibly go into a relationship until I could boldly say I had marriage in view within 2 to 3 years. I was determined to wait patiently for cupid’s arrow to strike me.
Fast forward to the concluding part of my master’s programe, I was 27 years old, a God-chaser, happy with the man I had grown up to become, single, never been in a relationship, but looking out expectantly for that special person I was to love with all of my heart, soul and mind after God. Let’s just say, I was single and searching; expectantly but not desperate.
Part of why it took me this long was that I was afraid. I didn’t want to make mistakes, remember my resolve since I was 15, in my subconscious, it meant I only had one chance to get it right. This for many reasons a good value system to have. Many of the youth and teenagers in these times will benefit from such a mindset which would save themselves of many heartbreaks. However, in my case, it also almost became my undoing.
Eventually, I carefully and prayerfully made my choice and started dating someone, someone I had been friends since my undergraduate years. I was afraid to tell her my feelings and more afraid from the very first day she said ‘Yes’ to my request to begin a relationship with marriage in view. I was still afraid the relationship would not work and lead to marriage, that we would fall out.
But then light came, I just came to realize that love is many things but love does not entertain fear. If fear exists, then true love cannot. I realized I had to break up with fear if I needed to enjoy every minute of my relationship, and if I wanted to increase my chances of succeeding at it. Fear brings presumptions and a host of negative feelings that will never help any relationship or marriage. I realized If I would truly make the most of the one chance that I had and succeed at it, I had to stop being afraid and truly love.
A month from now (December, 2017); it will be two years since I got married to my first love. Dreams do come true you know.
I am that dreamer who broke up with fear because there is no fear in Love.
I am Ebenezer Anifowose, a public health specialist and the founder of Healthucate Nigeria and the Centre for Health, Productivity and Stress Management. Download my free book titled ‘Handling the Teenage Years’ here www.purposefulteen.wordpress.com
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