Fear of Failing

The little girl sat in her room, she thought about everything and everything was in her. On the days she wanted to be a ballerina she was. On the days she played soccer she played her best, and the days she saved the world she did that too. She did everything and more because she made up stories that she could. To herself she was brilliant, athletic and limber, but to others she knew she was the girl who just looked out the window.  Today she sat in her room and thought of all those things she pretended to be, but today she wasn’t content. Something aroused in her a sensation of wanting to try but her feet still didn’t move.Nothing mattered because she could be everything in her mind. There was no failure because she never really did any of those things in reality.

The neighborhood buzzed with activity outside, some played hockey in the street, the girls skipped rope to the beat of music, and some road bikes. The window was open and the air fresh as Spring and it called to her to let go and come and play. It would be ok if she did not fear failure, so she thought if I don’t try I can fail.

But she longed to get on her bike, she wanted to play soccer and even to dance, and maybe someday she would, but no today. She walked over to the window and closed it and with that she closed off her mind to those happy noises and tuned into her dreams. Soft and quiet they moved around the room, dancing with her and creating her own reality.

Downstairs her mom called for her to come down. She went.

On the kitchen table was a photo album, one she had never seen before. It was old and tattered not like the ones she had looked at with her parents. Curious but nervous she overcame her desire to run back upstairs and sat down. Her mom loved her but she always wanted her to be more adventurous more willing to take chances , but she couldn’t do it.Failure was not an option.

Sitting down next to her, her mom opened the book and then looked at her daughter and began a story. Great revelations were revealed in that hour, things she had never known before. Each picture showed her a story of courage, acts of daring from a man she knew but seems she never knew of. Her heart opened as the story unfolded. A boy much like herself, who had known nothing more than a wheelchair. A boy who as she, looked out his window day after day, wishing he could be like the other kids he saw play in the yards below. He too had a fear of failure and that failure kept him  in a wheelchair, inhibited by a desire to stand up and walk.

But one day he did, with the help of many doctors and the love of his parents he did.  The hard work he did helped him not only to walk again, but to grow into a young man who did play sports, who walked to school and rode his bike everywhere he went.

She looked up and said to her mom, “but these are pictures of dad”?  The man she called dad had always walked, always worked and was never one to fail at anything, how could this be. The questions were answered one by one, and the father she only knew as a soldier and father was now more than that to her. He was a hero. “He never feared failure” her mom said and if he was here he would tell you that himself.” Sometimes we have to fall down, to get back up, and sometimes we have to fail to find that we are still the best at what we choose to do.” On that note her mom gave her a hug and told her to go finish what she was doing and put the album back on the shelf in a place she could find it any time she wanted.

The little girl felt her thoughts shift, her mind grow and her heart find more than just love. Walking up those stairs she became a soldier, a fighter and she would never think of failure again. In fact she flew up the stairs and got on her shoes, she couldn’t wait to get outside and be her real self and more.

Why do we fear failure. Why do we give up before we try. Fall down and get back up. Try new things and if they don’t fit, try something else. Knowledge is everything and the more we know the more fear and failure do not live in our thoughts or our dictionaries of life.

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