Ever been so embarrassed by a failure you wanted to hide your face? What's worth failing for?
Not, 'what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail', but for what would you be willing to try, to risk, to step out of your comfort zone?
And I don't mean 'what's your passion', necessarily, but rather what is so interesting, so moving, so intriguing to you that you would risk (potentially embarrassing) failure just to give it a try?
I recently had a great idea. You may already know that I teach Mindfulness in schools, as well as Meditation in schools and at home (as part of my Life Coaching practice). I made a connection with someone at my daughter's school and together we set up a schedule of "lunch & learn" sessions for students, so I could teach a few Mindfulness techniques, share some stress and anxiety management tools, and lead them through a visualization exercise. I was very excited and worked for some time on my presentation for the first session, organizing visual aids and suggested reading materials. I went to the school early to set up, and... could not find the woman with whom I had made the plan. I decided to just figure it out, knowing which room I was to use, so I went and waited for students. And waited. A few showed up with the intention of using the room for their lunch break, eating/chatting/studying. After a while, my own daughter and two of her sweet friends arrived, and were gracious enough to let me lead them through my presentation, even though it was a little awkward as we sat on a small couch in the room, surrounded by other students eating and studying. A few weeks late, I had another opportunity to present, same room, same timeframe, better promotion...this time: one student. Discouraged, I wondered if it was simply the timing, lack of publicity, whether the student body was even interested in this topic, if I was doing something wrong.
I had told a few friends about this exciting venture and hoped I wouldn't run into them in case they asked how it went.
What do you do when you experience that embarrassed, icky feeling of having not succeeded in the way you imagined?
While I wasn't publically humiliated by this experience, I certainly felt like I had experienced failure, until I stopped to think about those who had shown up. Not many students, for sure, but those who came were grateful for the conversation, the exercises, the opportunity to learn something and, in the process, they taught me a few things. I think when we show up in our lives, being open to the experience and excited about it, too, we have the chance to learn something new, something worth risking failure and embarrassment.
Maybe you want to add a little more creativity to your life (see my previous post, here: http://www.sarahiebert.com/blog/my-own-little-big-magic). Maybe your potential failure has to do with a relationship, and being willing to have a hard conversation with someone in your life, even if that means experiencing discomfort, on the road to a deeper, more profound connection with that person.
We are all making mistakes, most of us daily. Some more publically than others, but if we are honest with ourselves, we know that, when we take risks and try new things, some will end up looking like mistakes.
As you think about this question, ask yourself: is it worth it? and is a mistake really a mistake if it turns into a learning experience?
I don't think so, and I would love to hear your opinion...
Life Coach, Yogi & lover of Meditation, mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter, cookie baker, seeker of truth & laugher, volunteer. Passionate about women's stories and the women who share them.