What would you do if you could not fail?
I’ve heard this many a times growing up as an inspirational thought to get you thinking about your fears and how much they’re holding you back. I would say a high majority of people have that familiar fear of failure. I know I personally have put off so many things in my own life due to fear of failure. Not competing throughout school, not putting pen to paper for years, not posting any of my writing or work for jolovesboots in fear of 'it’s not good enough, people will laugh, there’s a million people at it way better than me so why even try?' Fear can be so crippling and cause you to live a life where it’s not just about failing, it get’s so bad you don’t even try.
The other night while Ezra and I were on holidays in Rye, we went to a carnival full of kids, lights and loud noises. Being the nana that I am, I was ready to leave soon after we even got there! But I pushed through and Ezra and I got sucked in to watching this one particular game. It was “$1, $1 only $1 - cheapest game in all the carnival, try your luck, step right up, $1, $1...” The game was simple. It was $1 for 2 balls, and all you had to do was throw them into one of the jars and you won any prize of your choice. We watched for a good 10 minutes as people failed to get any balls in the jars. We laughed and judged as people had terrible aim, technique and wondered ‘What were they even thinking?’ Yet when we both asked each other ‘Do you want a turn’ we both decided - na, it’s a waste of money…
We continued to walk around the carnival and decided if there was nothing else we wanted to do, we would go back and have a turn at throwing the ball. 20 minutes later we find ourself back at the same game. I tried to tell Ezra “You just do it, I’ll watch” knowing I would most likely miss and waste the shot - even though there was a small chance I could have got it in. But Ezra said “No, let’s do it together.” And so we did. We bought a whole bucket of the balls for a crazy $5 - breaking the bank I know, and guess what - we missed every single one! I blamed my ‘failure’ on our gym work outs and my arms/muscles were sore. Ezra said it was hard to throw because the barrier they put up stopped you from being able to swing your arm properly. But in the end we walked away having had fun, and having TRIED.
As we walked away, Ez starts saying to me - You know we both didn’t want to play because we didn’t want to fail right?
And I guess since he brought that up, it hasn’t really left me. But the thing is - why are we always so afraid to fail? Why does failure have to be seen as such a negative thing. Failure is proof that you’re doing something, making an effort, and stepping outside of our comfort zone. While we were dating Ez told me a story of this lady who every night at the dinner table would ask her children, “So kids, what did you fail at today?” And round the table they would go, sharing their failures. And this may seem mean or harsh for kids, but as they went around and shared their failures, each child was celebrated. It was more important to this mum that her kids had tried something that day. She would rather her kids fail (and celebrate those failures) every day, in order to better themselves, challenge themselves, and see failure in a new light - as something to be proud of because it means you had a go.
So 2018 - what are you going to fail at?
What are you going to fail at possibly 100 times, so you can finally succeed? Succeeding isn’t that exciting when you haven’t failed in the process to get there. Who cares about “What would you do if you could not fail?” but “What would you fail at 100 times over in order to finally succeed?” Don’t let failure stop you from living, let it catapult you into living.