Allowing Yourself The Potential to Fail


Though its actually hard for me to do, I’m taking a break from recipes this week. I could go on forever just sharing my favorite recipes with you but this isn’t, after all, the Balanced Living Food Blog. (But I can almost guarantee I’ll be back on food next week!)

Instead I’m going to lavish you with some proud-mom-bragging disguised as a lesson on balanced (literally!!) living.

So what can I say? I just can’t help referencing my son when it comes to a lot of things. Some may call it endearing, others may call it lame. I call it what it is and say the rest doesn’t matter. But either way, once again, my son has reminded me of an important lesson: The power of giving up control and being willing to fall.

Little man learned to ride a bike  this week. I mean, a real bike: two wheels and the wind in his face. He’s 3. He was a little scared to give it a go without the training wheels, but I told him I had his back and he went with it. 15 minutes later I was chasing him around the park while trying to speed dial my husband. The smile of triumph on his face and his pleading: “Mommy can I do it again?” was like a brick over the head reminding me of the amazing things that can happen when you give up control.

Honestly, it was most likely me with the control issue on this one. I still had my hand on his shoulder for a while before I realized that my hand wasn’t so much holding him up as trying to keep up with him! So I bit my knuckles and let him go. And guess what? He soared! And I have to think it was partly due to the lessons on learning new things that have been drilled into his head. Well that, and an ultra developed since of balance and physicality that he was born with.

Nevertheless, ever since he was old enough to roll over I’ve been repeating the same mantra to him, and I think its one we could all really use a reminder of:

  • Falling is part of learning something new, pick yourself up and try again
  • Sometimes falling hurts, but keep trying and eventually you won’t fall – as much
  • If its worth learning how to do, its worth falling over a little
  • You can’t get good at something unless you practice and sometimes it can take time
  • If you feel like you’re too wobbly, put your feet on the ground

I think its good for us all to remember these simple lessons anytime we take on something new. Whether it’s trying to start a new exercise regimen, starting a business, speaking in public, finding a new job or taking up a hobby. Nobody is really good at something the first time around. If you not only accept the possibility of falling but also embrace it as a means to get better, you remove the pressure and stigma around the fear of failing and allow yourself the opportunity to get really good at something. Falling isn’t something to fear. Its never allowing yourself the opportunity to try something new that is frightening.

And remember, if you feel a little wobbly – just put your feet back on the ground for a minute.

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Juliette Wilk is a certified massage therapist and self-care instructor at Oakland’s Life Balance Massage. She writes on a variety of self-care, healthy eating and balanced living topics aimed at helping people live a healthier, more positive, saner life. Join her on Twitter and Facebook to be sure and get your daily dose of sanity.
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One response

  1. Sometimes our greatest lessons are learned through our failures. Sometimes our greatest achievements are obtained from our failures. Failure is not a four letter word, but an opportunity. We should embrace failure as a gift to help us perfect our goals.

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