As a little girl my dad used to always say,
“It’s better to shoot for the moon and only reach the ceiling than to shoot for the ceiling and never get off the ground.”
Shooting for the moon is scary. It takes guts. It requires vulnerability. It amplifies that little tiny voice that says what if. What if I can’t. What if I’m not good enough. What if I make a mistake? What if people think I’m crazy. What if I am hurt or rejected? What if I’m not as capable as I’ve pretended to be?
I was in the middle of a big mess. I put myself there. I constantly questioned myself. Devalued myself. Made bad decisions. Stayed in bad relationships. Constantly running from the path my heart was drawing me toward because of fear. And there I was, after all of that running, the very thing I tried so hard to avoid becoming. A failure. Again.
I was unhappy. I was unfulfilled. I felt defeated. I don’t mean to say my life was bad. It wasn’t. But, I felt like the joy had been sucked right out of me. My life felt heavy.
I wanted to be happy. Not just happy, happy, but blissfully, unapologetically, crazy-amazing happy. What was I waiting for?
“In order to draw a limit to thinking, we should have to think both sides of this limit.” - Ludwig Wittgenstein
It seemed impossible to see both sides. Fear creates an impressive blind-spot. It was easier for me to limit myself because it was too difficult to see the big picture in the middle of a big mess. I didn’t even care about the big picture anymore. Oh, I said that I did. I had big plans. The confident, capable person always at the top of her game and in charge of her future was actually sabotaging her happiness in favor of holding on to fear.
So, after a choosing to learn the hard way, a lot of resistance, and a lot of tears
I am giving myself permission to fail.
It hasn’t been an easy process. I struggle every day to maintain focus. I try not to anticipate failure and I’ve changed the way I measure success. It is still a daily battle not only believe in myself, but to believe that failure is not the big disappointment it once seemed and that someone else’s definition of success doesn’t matter to me. Sometimes it’s easier than others.
I am discovering who I am, what I am capable of, and learning that mistakes are a valuable part of this journey. Every moment is an opportunity - not just the “big decision” moments. Every moment. I am choosing experience over failure. I am choosing happiness over fear.