Quote of the Week!

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve:

the fear of failure.”

~ Paulo Coelho


Paulo Coelho’s quote, “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure,” captures a profound truth about the nature of human aspiration and creativity. This insight is especially relevant to artists, surface designers, and other creative professionals who often grapple with the fear of failure as they pursue their dreams.

At its core, Coelho’s statement underscores the idea that fear, particularly the fear of failure, is the primary barrier to achieving one’s dreams. This fear can be paralyzing, preventing individuals from taking risks, experimenting with new ideas, and ultimately realizing their full potential. For creative professionals, this fear is particularly potent because their work is inherently subjective and often publicly judged, making the possibility of failure feel both personal and public.

The Artist’s Struggle

Artists frequently face the fear of failure in various forms. Whether it’s the fear of a painting not being well-received, a gallery show failing to attract attention, or even the internal doubt about one’s own abilities, these fears can stifle creativity. An artist might avoid exploring new techniques or subjects out of fear that the work will not be understood or appreciated. This self-imposed limitation restricts their growth and keeps their true potential locked away.

Consider an artist who dreams of holding a solo exhibition. The fear of negative reviews or poor turnout can be overwhelming. This fear might lead them to postpone the exhibition indefinitely, or worse, abandon the dream altogether. Coelho’s quote reminds us that it’s not the external obstacles but this internal fear that truly makes the dream impossible to achieve. By overcoming this fear, artists can unlock their creativity and bring their visions to life.

Surface Designers and Innovation

Surface designers, who create patterns and designs for various surfaces such as textiles, wallpapers, and ceramics, also encounter the fear of failure. Their work requires a constant flow of innovative ideas and the ability to anticipate and set trends. The competitive nature of the industry can exacerbate the fear of failure, leading designers to play it safe rather than pushing the boundaries of their creativity.

A surface designer might hesitate to propose a bold, unconventional design for fear that it will be rejected by clients or fail in the market. However, it is often these daring designs that capture attention and drive the industry forward. By succumbing to the fear of failure, designers limit their potential impact and miss out on opportunities to make significant contributions to their field. Coelho’s wisdom encourages them to embrace risk and view failure not as a setback but as a step toward achieving their dreams.

Creative Professionals and Innovation

For creative professionals across all fields—writers, musicians, filmmakers, and beyond—the fear of failure can be a significant hurdle. The creative process is fraught with uncertainty, and the possibility of criticism or rejection is ever-present. This fear can lead to self-censorship, where individuals avoid exploring controversial or unconventional ideas that might not be well-received.

A writer, for example, might steer clear of a novel idea that challenges societal norms, fearing backlash or poor sales. Similarly, a musician might stick to safe, popular genres instead of experimenting with new sounds. However, the most groundbreaking works often come from those who dare to defy expectations and take risks. By acknowledging and overcoming the fear of failure, creative professionals can pursue their dreams with confidence and resilience.


Paulo Coelho’s quote serves as a powerful reminder that the fear of failure is the most significant barrier to achieving our dreams. For artists, surface designers, and creative professionals, this fear can be especially daunting due to the subjective nature of their work and the public scrutiny it often entails. However, by confronting and overcoming this fear, they can unlock their true potential and create work that is innovative, impactful, and deeply fulfilling. Embracing the possibility of failure as a natural part of the creative process is essential for achieving greatness and realizing one’s dreams.

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To your success, Vinh Van Lam and Stuart Horrex Cofounders ArtSHINE.com

Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

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