Already I’ve failed the 31 (consecutive) Days challenge. And you know what? That’s ok.
My very first post in this 31 Days of Just Doing It series took an honest look at one of my biggest obstacles when it comes to diving in and just starting just about anything. Being a perfectionist , craving control over details and answers to all the questions before I take a leap is another way of saying that my excitement to start is often swallowed by my fear of failing. And when we let our fear consume our excitement to try, to experiment, to create… we become our own obstacles, bullies, and critics. We stunt our own growth, prevent our own success, and stay stagnant and afraid. Can you think of a sadder way to live?
Here’s the thing: failing happens. To everyone. Arming myself with a foolproof plan for success, all the best books, and everyone else’s advice can’t prevent me – or anyone – from stumbling, falling, and racking up some bruises. But anyone who’s great at anything has bruises to show for it. Scars from falling, from stumbling, from getting things wrong and powering on anyway.
Man, it sounds so cliché – but truly, I don’t think I’ve ever fully realized that the goal isn’t to ‘never fall.’ Giving myself permission to fail has always been the hard part. I spend all of my time and energy trying to prevent failure at all costs, instead of considering how ‘getting it wrong’ could teach me something really valuable and reposition me on a different course that’s that much closer to developing my own voice or style and ‘getting it right.’
We all fall; the greats are the ones who know better than to think a misstep is an excuse to quit. They’re the ones who learn how to get up, shake it off, and let their missteps alter their course for the better.
How comfortable are you with failing? And how to you manage to keep on going when things go awry? As someone who’s learning to embrace screwing ups and not viewing mistakes as excuses to quit, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
And with that – let’s continue on tomorrow with 31(ish) Days of Just Doing It, shall we?