Recently I stepped way outside of my comfort zone. I brought my family along for the adventure too. All four of us were way outside of our respective comfort zones. All trying something new, together.
And it turns out, despite trying as hard as we could, learning on the fly, reaching out for help, muddling through… we failed. In a big spectacular way.
At first I felt awful about it. This thing I wanted to do… I jumped into it and then realized I was way out of my depth. What I thought would be an intermediate step, like jumping from the side of the pool into 5-foot deep water. Well, it was more of an advanced step, like jumping off a 50-foot cliff into a deep, ice cold lake.
We all jumped in together. We all treaded water together. And we all agreed to some degree that we were not ready to take this big of a step. Luckily there was a way back out of the water. And I will say, no one got hurt or injured and we all came away knowing a lot more, for when we take this leap again.
In fact, I would say failing so greatly, in some ways, is the best preparation for what comes next. I haven’t learned this much, this quickly, this frantically, in a long long time.
So, if I were my own best friend, I would remind myself it’s okay to fail huge. In fact when I fail huge what it really means is I am learning a huge amount in a very short period of time. And that learning, that discomfort, that uncertainty, it all leads to growth. I can take the failure and turn it into what I do next, except this time I will do it with more knowledge, more confidence, and a better chance of succeeding.
So, really, I think the lesson to myself is to fail big a bit more often, in order to find out more about myself. Be infinitely grateful for the opportunities to fail. Because that is what this is all about, right? Becoming my best possible self, being my own best friend, in this big crazy world.
Have you failed big lately?
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