Sunday, July 13, 2014

Day 4 - The Familiar: Failure

“Certainty is not a natural human experience… but faith; is second only to error.”

Sometimes the thing that holds people back from doing what they know they are supposed to do or what they know they want to do is the fear of failure. I know this fear has been something that has held me back from many things I have really wanted in life. What is interesting is failure is something I am more acquainted with than anything else in the world. Yet so many times I have been gripped by fear of failure to the point of paralysis.

In a world where we strive so desperately for certainty the only thing that is certain is failure. I know that you might be thinking this is a very negative statement and possibly a depressing post, but it is actually meant to be a freeing post. When we release the idea that everything has to be perfect and according to plan and accept that we are probably going to fail and sometimes even fail hard then we realize that there is actually a grace that covers us when we do. It is almost as if we were never meant to be perfect and in control. That is the beauty of this exercise I am doing because it takes the fear of failure and being above average out of the picture. There have been many times I have been paralyzed by a blank page, but not anymore. At least not the past few days, because all I do is sit down and start writing about anything that is on my mind. Granted I missed a post only 3 days into the challenge, but the nice thing is the rules say if you miss a day you don’t make up for it you just keep going as if you never missed a beat. It is as if they knew this would be challenging and people would run out of things to write about and the fear of a blank page and the fear of not having anything to say and the fear of failure would paralyze people, so they went ahead and built grace into the whole package.

It seems similar to life in a lot of ways. There are people who concern themselves too much with living the wrong way and they never end up living at all. Jim Carrey recently gave a commencement speech at a university where he talked about our insatiable thirst for security. He told a story about how his dad could have been a great comedian, but there were too many uncertainties that surrounded it so he got a “safe” job as an accountant. He went on to say that when he (Jim) was about 10 years old his dad lost that safe job and his family had to do whatever they could to make ends meet. He wrapped the story up by a simple line that has been sometime I have held onto for a while now and that line is: “You can fail at what you don’t want to do; so you might as well take a chance at doing something you love.”

Sure, you are going to fail. But success isn’t defined by those who don’t fall, but by those who are able to fall and pick themselves up again as if nothing ever happened. Failure is probably the most familiar human experience, so let us embrace it and keep moving forward doing what we were born to do.

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