Fear of Failure

All righty so my first hmm. What should I call these? Reviews? Discussions? Investigations? How about Explorations? Yeah, I like that. I’m a Oncer exploring all the awesomeness that Once Upon a Time has to offer.

So, I’m going to start off with an episode from one of my favorite arcs, which was the Dark Swan. This blog will be filled with spoilers, from any and all episodes before the one I’m currently talking about, which today will be Birth season five, episode eight.

During this arc Emma has become burdened with the weight of the Dark One’s magic and our team of heroes have traveled to Camelot to find the solution to destroy the darkness for good. By this episode, it has been weeks of challenges, set-backs, and victories, but the heroes now have all the objects they need to accomplish their goal. The only thing left to do is for Emma to turn the promethean spark into a flame.

Regina using the dark one dagger to force Emma to admit her true fear to herself.
“The dagger can make you look, but you — you have to choose to see. Now come on. Come on, Emma. See. Tell me what you’re really afraid of!” – Regina

But, for some reason she can’t figure out how to make it work and she’s not entirely sure why. Emma thinks it’s because she’s not ready to let go of the darkness, but Regina, her friend, uses some tough love to force Emma to admit the true reason to herself. After the encounter Hook, Emma’s boyfriend, finds Emma alone in the woods, with the spark still unlit. He apologies for Regina’s actions, but Emma replies that Regina helped her figure out what was wrong.

Emma: I do know why I’m scared to let go of the darkness. This, (she reveals Hook’s secret plan to ask her to move in with him) our future.
Hook: What are you trying to tell me? That you can’t ignite the Promethean flame because you’re afraid to take the plunge and move in with me?
Emma: It’s not about moving in… it’s… everything.
Hook: Well, I guess it’s even worse than I thought. You can’t even see any future at all with me.
Emma: That’s not it. Don’t you get it? I’m afraid because I do want a future with you.
Hook: You do?
Emma: Yes. And the minute you take away the darkness, that future begins.

Emma admitting to Hook that she wants a future with him, but is scared.

She’s admitting she’s been delaying ending this journey, because as long as this journey is still going then the possible future will remain in its pristine state forever. Only when the future is turned into reality can the potential tarnish begin to grow.

I feel like this idea is best stated in a How I Met Your Mother episode. I know I know, I didn’t warn you about any crossovers, but it’s only a little snip-it, and won’t ruin anything if you haven’t seen the show (which by the way you totally should).

In an episode of season four, Ted, the main character, has set out to start his own architecture firm, his life long dream. Through out the episode there are many hilarious hijinks and ways in which he avoids doing any real work which all comes to a head at the end of the episode as he admits his fears to his roommate, Robin.

Robin: (Walks in) Hey, you ok?
Ted: (sitting dejected at his desk) What if I don’t think of the books?
Robin: Excuse me?
Ted: There’s this famous architecture story about an architect who designed this library. It was perfect. But every year, the whole thing would sink a couple of inches into the ground. Eventually, the building was condemned. He forgot to account for the weight of the books. This company, it’s just me. What if I don’t think of the books?

Robin walking in to see Ted sitting dejected at his desk.

Robin: Okay, first of all, nobody goes to libraries anymore, so who cares about that guy? Secondly, you need to get on the phone and start calling clients.
Ted: The longer I put off starting my own firm, the longer it can remain a dream and not something I screwed up at. I mean, it’s like I’m giving up before I even started.

Sound familiar? The fear of failing is so great, so why even bother trying? This is why I wanted to write about this episode for my first Once Exploration, because both of these characters, these heroes, end up trying. Whether they fail or not isn’t the point, the point is they ultimately didn’t let their fears stop them from trying. And that, in my opinion, is the inspirational part of these stories. The part I’m taking strength from right now.

Because trying something new, something foreign, isn’t easy. The world we know, the situations we’re used to, regardless of how sucky that current situation is, holds a certain amount of comfort for us. Pushing ourselves out of that realm of comfort is tough and can be scary. We know, to a degree, what is expected of us here, but to move on we won’t know any of that.

Starting this Once Upon a Time exploration is something I’ve put off for fear of failing. Have you ever done something similar in your own lives? Prolonged something so that the next phase could remain preserved? Or perhaps think of so many ways trying something could fail, that you find excuses to never try at all?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *