Have you been wondering what February’s challenge was? I want to tell you all about it. I want to tell you it was incredible and fabulous. I will tell you all that, but I’ll have to tell you about it another month. February was a bust.
It isn’t as if I haven’t done anything daring this month, I have. I rode on the tailwinds of January and performed little acts of courage here and there, but nothing to really qualify as an awesome and new February daring deed. I cannot even begin to tell you how I felt at first, having failed at this mission of mine, only two months in. Even trying to rationalize it didn’t help me feel better. I did get a concussion early in the month and it really set me back more than I thought it should. Still, those ugly words rang in my head, “You failed!”
Then it hit me! THAT is my challenge this month! No, it isn’t shocking or daring, but it is extremely difficult. This month, I dealt with failure.
Failure. That living breathing beast we all struggle so hard to avoid, yet we all fall victim to at some time or another. Failure. What a bitch!
Failing actually does teach us something if we are open to the lesson. It makes us stronger if we let it, and don’t get so afraid that we stop trying altogether. We’ve all heard those words, “You never truly fail unless you give up.” Sure it’s true, but it doesn’t make the sting of failure any better. I started thinking there really needs to be a new famous failure quote, because that one just doesn’t do it for me. Wouldn’t you know it, just a few days after that thought I came across this quote by Mary Tyler Moore – “Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.”
Could that be any more perfect!? It made me realize that the concussion, falling behind on everything, “failing” at my challenge was perfect! How else would I discover how to be truly brave? I feel brave for telling you honestly and openly that I failed. I feel brave for getting up, brushing myself off, and giving it another go. The truth is, all of this isn’t about dancing with Scotsmen, peeking under kilts (I still swear I didn’t do that though!) giving up coffee, or the bunch of other things I still have up my sleeve for the year. It is really all about being brave. Facing fear, facing failure, and just keeping on. Sometimes, you have to fail in order to discover just how brave you can be.
Think of something you failed at. What did it teach you? Maybe that memory will lead you to an amazing discovery that might make you react much like I did. “OMG! I am so bad-ass brave!” Yes you are!
So, why do we fear it so much? Why is that fear often so paralyzing? Some people take failure, learn from it, use it, and make themselves better. Donald Trump, for example. His life is not a story of nothing but successes. He has failed too, a lot. It never stops him. Or how about Elizabeth Taylor? She had been married 8 times. She was so much more than any of her “failures.” She was a fighter, a survivor, and one hell of an actress. Mary Tyler Moore, Lucille Ball, Mae West – All amazing women, all women we remember for their inspiring successes. They all failed sometimes too. They all turned failure on its behind and added it to their repertoire of sass and fabulousness. Leave it to a woman to make failure sexy.
I was feeling pretty down in the dumps about failing at my challenge, failing everyone who might want to read about it, and failing myself. It was something I was afraid of, and it happened. And I survived. Not only that, I discovered an even better challenge. Does that mean I didn’t really fail at all? Whether I actually failed or not, it all seems a lot less scary and final now.
I had my little flirt with failure, but it didn’t distract me for long, and it certainly isn’t going to stop me. I am so ready to take on the next challenge!
Sandi is a mother, an artist, a writer, and an incurable romantic. She believes that life is full of surprises, people should make good ripples, and that there in nothing on this earth that can’t be made better with a cup of coffee and a bit of glitter (preferably not in the coffee). Sandi has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and is currently working towards her MBA. When she is not chasing a toddler around or studying, she is writing or working on one of her many unfinished and not-quite-started projects. You can follow her on Twitter or read about her fabulous baking and crafting mishaps on her blog.