I saw this quote the other day and it got me thinking. Fear is something we have all experienced. Fear is an emotion we experience when we feel we cannot cope with what life throws our way.
When I was younger, I feared many things but with time, I have learned I can cope with many things but the one thing I find difficult to overcome is the prospect of failure. It’s no secret that I can be a bit of a control freak – if I feel I am in control, I feel as though bad things are less likely to happen. Crazy I know. I’m working on it. I am a work in progress.
But… as well as being a control freak, I am a perfectionist – probably a by-product of trying to stay in control. I am familiar with the critical voice inside our heads that questions whether we are good enough, whether our work is up to scratch and whether we can do better.
Anyway…I digress. The point I was trying to make was that when I saw the quote it struck a chord. I felt full of hope. I suddenly began thinking of all the things I would do if the fear of failure wasn’t hanging over me. For a while, I couldn’t think of a sungle thing. The fear of failure I have lived with for so long had pushed all hopes out of the window. My daydreams had been limited…so I continued to think and here is my list (so far and in no particular order):
1) Audition for a West End musical. Once upon a time I danced – ballroom, latin, tap. I loved it all. I love music and the feeling of moving around a dancefloor is amazing. I loved watching musicals and when I watched a musical on stage, I imagined what it would be like to be a dancer. I didn’t covet the star role I just wanted to dance. If I couldn’t fail, I would audition for that part.
2) Walk the Inca trails – to do this would be amazing. If I knew I could do it without facing failure, this would definately be on my bucket list.
3) Become thinner 😉
4) Create something every day. Sometimes that inner voice is so loud, it stops me in my tracks. Even when I was doodling the quote in my sketchbook, I wanted to stop every time I drew something that I didn’t like and everytime I made a mistake. I forced myself to use it on this blog entry to practice ignoring that voice, to become more comfortable with the imperfect parts of my creativity.
Next is a big fear…I have already faced so many fears from day one of starting Dollies Daydream and for each one I have dealt with the fear of failure and done it anyway. Today, however, if I couldn’t fail I would:
5) Quit my job to concentrate on Dollies Daydream. This is a big dream for me. It is one path that I am desparate to walk but the fear of failure, the fear of giving up our financial security is a big sticking point for me. I know I am not alone. When I talk to others about my dreams, there are many who will highlight the possible negative consequences of this action. It seems that we do not just feel that fear for ourselves but we feel the fear for others – we warn others against actions we believe will end in failure.
Why is it so easy to concentrate on the negative? Is it back to that old saying “to be forewarned is forearmed”? When I think of my children growing up and facing a decision to follow their dreams, I like to think that I would encourage them to walk the path they wish, that I would support them no matter what. I would tell them that whatever the outcome, we learn something valuable whether it is through tears or smiles.
So if fear is the result of a belief that you cannot cope with the othercome, I guess I have to ask myself whether I can. I have to weigh up whether we will survive whatever events my decision may bring. If the answers are yes then I have to see whether I really am brave enough to take that leap.
One thing I will aim to do is teach my children there is no such thing as failure. I will try every day to nurture a kind and loving inner voice in the heads of my children so that they aren’t limited by it and are free to follow their hearts.
So – what would you attempt if you couldn’t fail? What risks have you taken that have paid off?
Until next time,