Why You Need Courage To Follow Your Dream

Posted on February 12th, 2013 by Kimanzi

This is a guest post from Ngina Otiende, who is a writer and trainer who loves helping others take charge of their lives. She’s passionate about intentional growth and relationships and wants to ignite the same passion in others. You can read her blog Intentional Today, follow her on Twitter and find her on Facebook.

A few years ago, I thought I needed a lot of money to start a business.

imagesMy mentor told me that I needed an idea. He said money followed ideas.

To illustrate the point, he picked up a plastic water bottle and waved it in front of my face.

“To one person, this used water bottle is nothing but trash, fit for the dustbin. To another person, this is an idea. An idea which will bring money”

I didn’t have money then. But I had a tiny idea. I didn’t think the idea merited a ‘business’ tag. Maybe a hobby. Something to do before I hit it big someplace else.

Eventually my desperation (I  was so broke) won over fear, hesitation and ego.

I began my ‘business’.

With less than five dollars (four hundred Kenya Shillings).

To move ahead in your dream, you must begin to see what your physical eyes cannot see.

You must refuse to be tied by ‘current reality’.

Tolulope Llesanmi says  

“Warriorship has nothing to do with your title or your physical or intellectual stamina or appearance but everything to do with your spirit. “

I have never met or heard of a timid warrior. Sure, warriors feel afraid sometimes but they are always moving forward.  They don’t allow fear to keep them down. They order their lives according to their heart and spirit, not according to their physical environment.

Success has everything to do with what/how we think. It’s about the perspective we keep and the things we decide to believe.

In my case and for a season I allowed my “reality” (an idea too small, lack of money) to dictate  my future.

What about you? What’s messing with your next step? 

Are you allowing

– your pain to dictate your faith?

– your disappointment to decide if you’ll wake up tomorrow and try again?

– your ego to dictate the direction of your marriage?

– your TV and social media to take the time you should be practicing your craft?

– busyness to steal time with your kids ?

– winter to determine if you’ll exercise? (okay that was for me, I dislike walking/running in the cold!)

Thoughts on moving to the next level. 

1. Great possibilities do not lie in the realm of the possible. 

If you are looking for greatness in the realm of “possible”, you are in the wrong universe.

God dreams impossible dreams – He created a world out of nothing.

A few days ago, someone said something that left me discouraged. I felt sliced up, tossed out, hopeless and mad. Later, I realized that I could use the same discouraging words to launch up. Or I could use them to spiral down. “Impossible” could turn into possible – it was all a matter of perspective.

What do you see in your “impossible” situation?

Remember, you cannot chase ‘normal’ and still hope to change the world. Your assignment is unique, as unique as its Author. Yes, the same One who creates mind-blowing things out nothing.

2. You don’t need a lot to start out

As a mentor, I’ve listened to many wonderful stories and dreams about what people want to do with their lives.

The difference between those who do something about their dream and those that don’t? – courage to start small.

You see, we have it backwards. We want things to line up before we step out. I do it all the time, even today.

But that’s not real life. Real life tends to serve early opportunities in small potions. Our little steps build up to giant leaps over time. What little step can you take today?

3. It’s not about you. 

Your life is simply not all about you. Hard to swallow and digest sometimes, but it’s true.

My pastor says “there are people waiting on the other side of your obedience”

Once we understand the largeness, the real meaning of life, we can push through anything and turn impossibilities into possible. Just ask Namale.

All of us have gifts. The bible says that our gifts will take us before great men. Not everyone will be ‘famous’, at least not the earthly kind anyway. But all of us must go before ‘our great men’. There are people to serve, a difference to make, charities to fund, churches to plant, missionaries to send, businesses to build, legacies to leave.

It might begin with you. But does not end with you. You must see that in order to keep fighting.

Are you courageous? What area(s) can you step out more?


  • Awesome post Ngina! Funny thing reading this post and the water bottle waving. Another blog had a post about Will.I.Am joining forces with Nike to promote the use of used plastic bottles in other goods. Guess there is an idea in a water bottle!

    • What a coincidence Joe ! My mentor was talking about recycling as well – it’s good business in Kenya :). Thanks for reading

  • Great stuff, Ngina. I know that I have let other things, and distractions get in the way of my dreams. It ranges from too much time on thing that are unproductive, to fear and doubt. I had this idea for about a year now, and it comes coming back. My pastor preached on Sunday if you have an idea, go do it. Now this post. I need to buckle down and drum up the courage, otherwise God will give the idea to someone else.

    • “God will give the idea to someone else”. Juan that’s sobering. And it speaks to me too.

    • Betty Draper

      I need to buckle down and drum up the courage, otherwise God will give the idea to someone else.
      Juan that speaks to me also…guess I better “take courage” and step out.

  • The courage to start small – wow, that’s powerful. That’s so incredibly insightful. I know that I have been one in the past who wanted things to line up, but I’ve started launching out more and more. It still stings in a way when things are small, but it’s better than not doing anything! And by the Lord’s will, growth is possible. I wonder about all the great saints of the past who launched into world-changing lives. I wonder how many of them just started small where they were at.

    • Loren, i feel you on the “sting”. God has to constantly remind me not to despise the days of small beginnings. Like you said, it’s better than nothing and growth does come. I think most of us lose the battle in that little first step. We’d be surprised at the things we can achieve if we just got courageous (or crazy) enough to step out, a little .

  • Excellent post. I have missed opportunities waiting for everything to line up. I wanted everything to automatically fall in line so I could do the big thing. I have now realized it is not the 100th hit that breaks the stone, it was the 99 hits before that allowed the last hit to break the stone. Thanks for the reminder that the courage to take small steps will help build greater success in the end.

    • Bernard, great words of wisdom. I need to remember the 99/100 hits analogy. Cos honestly it’s something i keep forgetting myself. Thanks for that.

  • DS

    It’s not about you. It’s not about you. It’s not about you. Are we sure it’s not about us? What a great attitude and reminder that we are called to serve first.

  • WOW! Really great post Ngina! So much stuff to take away. I really like what your pastor says.
    If more of us would grasp that our obedience or disobedience affects others lives, maybe we would act more responsibly with our time and resources. That really hit home.

    Your first point also really struck a cord with me. I don’t know why so many people want to be “normal”. What is normal anyway? Normal people don’t change the world, they never have. If everyone were “normal” we may not have the technologies we enjoy today. I don’t want to be normal and I want to trust God more to do the impossible in my life. He has a BIG imagination, I should let Him use it in my life!!!

    That things don’t end with us…if anyone knows American history they can see that how our society operates now was put into motion decades before by people who thought long term. They didn’t live to see their vision come to fruition, but it has. It’s small steps. It took small steps to take prayer out of school, now look where we are. We recently celebrated Roe vs Wade…it took years building up to that point and now look where we are.
    If only the people of God could think that BIG! To think of the future and not just right now. I’m not saying there aren’t God fearing people who don’t think like this, history is chalk full of them too, I’m just saying I pray more of us would live with this paying it forward mentality.

    • TC, am so glad that the post resonates! There’s so much stuff to take away from your comment too 🙂 This stands out to me in particular “They didn’t live to see their vision come to fruition, but it has. It’s small steps.” That we’d be more like those who’ve gone before us, taking the risks, even when we don’t see (physically) the complete picture yet. Cos it shall come, if we do our part. Thanks so much for reading and sharing.

  • I think starting small really helps a person create momentum to do bigger things. Courage is a must if we want to move out of our comfort zones and do great things. Great Post!

    • I like that thought on momentum Dan! Powerful. Thanks so much for reading

  • That’s so very true. I’ve been listening to a bunch of old Napoleon Hill books on tape this week and have been realizing how important your mental state is for accomplishing your goals. And how important it is to serve others. This post just drives it home a little further

  • Betty Draper

    Ngina, you have encouraged my heart twice this week with your post. I love what your pastor said, “there are people waiting on the other side of your obedience”. (could I quote him?) You just gave me the meat of our next update to our supporters.
    My whole goal is to be a courageous wise hearted woman. I have thought often of starting a fb site to give others courageous women a place to give voice to God working in their life. My son is always telling me I need to write a book…I may try it this year. God has taught me so much, healed a lot of wounds from my childhood, taken me to place I never even dreamed of…given me favor with people, put to use the gift of exhortion He has given me, given me avenues to teach some, let me sing some simple but profound songs, and wrapped me up with cords of love. Thanks for the wise words.