This past weekend our oldest daughter Buzz made up her mind that she wanted to try to ride her bike without the training wheels. She anxiously watched as I took each side off and we discussed what a big girl she was for riding without the training wheels. I set the bike up on just two wheels and that’s when she “fell into failure”.
She began to realize that it was going to be unsteady and started to doubt herself. Before she even got onto the bike she was convinced that it was going to be too hard and she would fall. I assured her that I would hold on until she could do it herself and that I would not let her fall. She sat on the seat and could feel how unsteady it was underneath her. She promptly got back off and begged for the training wheels to be put back on.
Before she could actually fall she “fell into failure.”
Often times we are faced with a new situation in our lives and although we are initially excited about the new venture; that little voice in the back of our head says we are not ready and we are going to fall. We seek reassurance from people who love us and they tell us that they will be there to hold us up, but still we are consumed by our fear and self doubt.
I did finally convince Buzz to at least try. I told her that she might fall but she was over the grass so it wouldn’t hurt and I would be right there to help her back up. She got to the point that she accepted that she was going to fall, but that she could keep trying. We began a few laps around the yard and on her cue, I would let go and yes, she fell. She got very frustrated every time she fell and we finally decided together that we would put the training wheels back on and she could try again later. After the wheels were put back on, she rode all around the yard with confidence that she wouldn’t fall. After she was done renewing her love for riding without fear, she again asked for the wheels to be taken off. She continued to fall and we took off and put those wheels back on a dozen times. Each time she feared those falls less but understood that it was just going to take time and skill to do it right.
How often do we revert back to comfortable and safe actions when we are scared of failure? But when we do venture and try we are able to accept those falls as part of learning. The falls aren’t as scary and they are seen as growth. I encourage you to take your training wheels off this week in a new skill. Yes, you might fall but that doesn’t mean you have to stay down! Don’t let yourself “fall into failure” before you even start.