I need to be open and honest with you. This post was difficult to write. I was stuck on what to say. And what to share. I was worried about what to talk about. I realized that I was terrified. I recognized that I was scared. I didn’t know what to write. It turns out, I’m fearful that the next thing I write is going to suck. See, I work REALLY hard to make sure I share interesting, inspiring and life changing content with you. I care a lot about making my newsletter and my blog valuable to you.
I want you to read what I share and feel inspired. I want you to try something new because of something I said. I want you to learn and have your life enriched from my insights. I want you to get excited about your life and create change because of a challenge I’ve given you.
Sometimes it’s hard. Writing doesn’t always come easy for me.
Even though it’s a great challenge, I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback lately. People are sharing my content and commenting on it (thank you, thank you, thank you!). And I couldn’t be more grateful for it.
I love hearing from you and knowing my words are making a difference in your life. It’s exactly what I want to do. It’s my goal. That is what “success” is to me. I am honoured to say my newsletter and blog have had some success.
But “success” has upped the ante for me. Now there are expectations that I need to meet. Standards to uphold. Results I should be exceeding.
And now I’m afraid.
I’m scared that sometimes you won’t like what you’re reading.
I’m worried that suddenly everyone is going to stop listening to me.
I’m nervous that I’m going to run out of things to say.
I had an epiphany.
My fear is killing my creativity.
My fear is stifling my ability to help others.
My fear is getting in the way of the important messages I want to share with you.
Do you ever feel this way?
If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re smart. You’re committed to living a great life. You’re driven. You’ve got goals and high standards for yourself.
You’ve probably achieved a ton of awesome things in your life. You’re probably “successful” already.
But success doesn’t always breed self-confidence like you might think it does.
Sometimes success makes you scared of failing.
Can you relate?
This is the wall I hit today. If you’ve hit this wall today, or in the past, or if you hit this in the future, this is for you.
Recently, a client shared a beautiful video with me. You may have seen it yourself. The video is of Sara Blakely, the CEO of Spanx, sharing her perspective on failure. (If you haven’t seen the video or need a little re-inspiration, check it out here).
When Sara was growing up, her father would ask her:
“What have you failed at lately?”
She would be encouraged to share things she had tried that did not work.
Their failures were celebrated.
Failure was redefined. In her life, failure became not trying.
Failure is not starting the business you want to.
Failure is not trying out for the play you want to be in.
Failure is not applying for the job you want, even if you think it’s out of your reach.
Failure is not asking for the promotion or raise you believe you deserve.
Failure is not writing and sharing what you believe will help others.
So here’s my message today, as I’m feeling afraid to fail.
Here’s my message for you, anytime you’re feeling afraid to fail.
It’s impossible to grow and change without the doubt, fear and uncertainty trying to hold you back.
Therefore, you need to push through that anxiety, nervousness, and fear.
Fear is a part of the process. When you play a bigger game, your doubt gets louder. Your fear growls deeper. Your uncertainty grows legs and attempts to make you run away.
Instead of running and hiding, I need to embrace it. Embrace the fear as a sign I’m being courageous. Welcome the doubt as the mark that I’m creating change in my life.
And celebrate it.
Here’s the thing: I’m going to have some failures.
Failure is the price of success. There is no success without the failures that come before the achievement. Failures always come with success. And that’s ok.
One day, someone’s not going to like what I write. (Maybe that day is today, and that person is you).
One day, I’ll write something that sucks. (This also could be today).
One day, people will unsubscribe. (I hope this isn’t today).
But if I keep working for it, continue gritting through, it’s inevitable that:
My message will make someone’s day.
My writing will be shared with someone who needs it.
People who believe in my insights will sign up for my newsletter.
I will change someone’s life.
When I think about “success” on these terms, I’m not (as) afraid of the failures I will have.
You will fail. I will fail.
If I need to try – and fail – in order to succeed, that’s what I need to do.
If you want to succeed (who doesn’t?!), then you will need to try and fail too.
This is my challenge to you. And my challenge to myself.
- Try something new. For better or worse, try. I will put myself out there. I will learn. I will get comfortable with failing again.
- Find a friend (or email me!) to share what you failed at.
- Celebrate failure. High-five someone who’s failed. High-five yourself.
Look forward to your failure. Redefine your failures. Take yourself lightly.
Put yourself out there. Start. Try. Ask. Write. Apply.
Watch what happens when you get comfortable with failing. I can’t wait to see your courage shine through… and the inevitable success that will follow.
Humbly failing forward (and often!)
Photographs by @kimjamesphotography