This past weekend a good friend & mentor told me about an experience she'd had with her 19 year old son recently. It struck a chord within me & resonated in my heart all weekend, so I thought I'd share. She and her son were having a conversation about leadership qualities they both had or admired in others. Her son-who is generally an extremely confident individual-talked about how he felt he had many leadership qualities and had the ability to really make a difference in people's lives, but that he often held back because he was afraid he would fail people. He let the fear of failing others keep him from stepping up and being a leader which happens to be one of his great gifts. My friend then said a profound thing to her son. "We will always fail people. It's whether or not we keep getting back up each time we've failed that defines us."
Isn't this so true? We cannot let the fear of anything keep us from participating in this great life we've been given. No matter the context-losing weight, leading people, becoming more organized, being a better parent, increasing our spirituality, being a better friend, etc.-the fact of the matter is that we have an obligation to live our lives to their fullest potentials. To not let our fears determine our actions-or lack of-in our lives.
We will always fail people. Sometimes no matter what we do or how hard we try, it won't be good enough for everyone else. But we don't always have to fail ourselves. As long as we get up each time we fall & learn from each stumble, we are moving in the right direction. Can you imagine if everyone who failed another person stopped taking risks? If you have a bad day & yell at your kids, start fresh the next day. If you fall off your healthy eating program & eat a 1/2 gallon of ice cream by yourself, start anew the next day. If you let someone down because you did something that didn't quite meet their expectations, don't let it get you down. Others will continue to have higher expectations in us than are sometimes realistic. Oftentimes we feel like a failure in our own minds and let that thought keep us from moving forward. Don't do that. Keep taking chances. Keep believing in yourself. Get back up each time you fall...It is in doing this that you really won't have failed at all.