Sunday, January 6, 2013

Permission To Fail

Prints by Dutson

One of my New Year's Intentions is to fail more. What? Fail? (gasp...the horrors).  

Yes, I need to fail. So many times I refuse to even try something new because of that fear of failure. What if I royally mess up in front of people I respect? What if I'm not good at it? What if? Well, so far this has meant a life of carefully choosing only those things I am fairly certain I can do well. 

My sister-in law is going back to school. She was nervous, of course. We sat drinking tea discussing the first day of class and for once I realized that I couldn't just give the usual pep talk "You'll be great! I'm sure you'll make lots of friends and get good grades and have a blast!". Isn't this what we do for each other? We don't give room to fail and so many of us don't even begin. I looked her in the eye and just said "There's a good chance you won't finish. We can't rule out the possibility that you could fail at this. But does that mean it's not worth trying?". The truth is that no matter what the outcome, we will all be proud of her and love her.  

The light bulb moment was when I realized I don't offer this permission to myself. 

This year I want to be brave like my sister-in-law. I want to do something that gives me butterflies in  my stomach. I have to know that the more things I try to do, the more failures I'll rack up. I want to be proud of the failures.  They show that I'm living a life unafraid of what others might think of me, and more importantly, what I might think of myself.

Let's all give ourselves permission to fail. We can look at the failures as proof of a life well lived. We can hold them up like trophies and say "Look! I did something I was scared to do!". 


  1. Here's to more failures for all of us!

  2. Exactly! Let's fail at something together!