In her book, Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert asks, “What would you do even if you knew that you might very well fail? What do you love doing so much that the words failure and success essentially become irrelevant?”
Failure is good. Mistakes are important. It means we are putting ourselves out there. We are at least trying. We are opening up to new adventures and experiences no matter what the outcome.
Failure does not mean we are no good. It does not mean we are failures or losers.
It’s a message that I pray does not get lost on my kids.
Because when I was a little girl, I didn’t get this. I recall not trying out for a play because I feared looking stupid. So instead I stayed home and ate pizza with ranch dressing. Not that there is anything wrong with pizza and ranch dressing.
But there is if you would rather be on stage.
And then there were the times when I did audition and still didn’t get a part and took this as confirmation of what I knew all along…that I wasn’t good enough.
What I wish I had know then was that I wasn’t good enough…yet. What I wish I had understood is that while practice may not make perfect (and who wants to be perfect anyway?) it does make better. And some people have to practice a lot more than others.
But the time invested is not wasted if you love what you are doing.
I keep coming across stories about various artists and the multitude of rejections they received before getting their big break. These are the actors that were told they weren’t pretty enough or the writers that were told their writing wasn’t interesting enough.
But despite the never ending parade of nos, they kept going.
Because it was something they really loved.
Gilbert goes on to say, “Don’t let go of your courage the moment things stop being easy or rewarding. Because that moment? That’s the moment when interesting begins.”
And who doesn’t love interesting?