It’s race day. My nerves are picking up a little bit as I’m pushing thoughts of tripping and falling on my face FAR from my mind.
I looked up a program to train for a half marathon this week. I can’t believe it but I’m about to start training for a half marathon. In the last three months I’ve already come further than I thought I’d EVER be able to go. I’m so excited to start this next leg of my journey, but I definitely don’t feel ready for it.
Lesson Learning: Start Before You’re Ready
J and I were in a leadership training event one day a little over a year ago and the person leading our event on leadership said something that I’ve had in my mind ever since. He was trying to help us strengthen the leaders we were leading and he told us to give them more responsibility BEFORE we thought they could handle it. He said to be prepared to clean up some messes because they likely would make mistakes, but that those mistakes would be invaluable to their training.
While he was talking about pushing others to grow in their strengths before they were ready I’ve really been taking it as a personal challenge. Anytime I think to myself, “I really should learn more about that before I start,” or “I definitely wouldn’t know what I’m doing yet,” or “I need more training” I take it as an opportunity to make in invaluable mistake.
But I still have a problem with that: making mistakes is unacceptable. In my culture, anyway. (Is it different in yours?)
Most of my life I never viewed mistakes as a opportunities, but as failures. I remember a conversation with J years ago about how Edison viewed each lightbulb that didn’t work (Supposedly he said, “I have not failed 1000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 1000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”) It had an impact on me, but I still didn’t change my perspective. Then we watched Meet the Robinsons. When Lewis goes to the future, the Robinsons celebrate his failed peanut butter invention. Wow. That’s definitely not normal. Should that be normal? Is it possible to view my mistakes and failures as something worth celebrating?
I still can’t say I want to jump up and down and invite my friends for a party when I make a mistake, but I’m learning not to view myself as ALL mistake or ALL success and that is helping me view making mistakes in a… less negative light.
If making a mistake doesn’t make me a horrible person, then… I might take some more chances. So, I started running. If I’m bad at it, who cares? I tried!
If I fall on my face, I learn to watch where I’m putting my feet and how to pace myself. It doesn’t mean I can’t run.
If it’s really okay for me to make a mistake, then maybe the best time for me to start is when I’m SURE I’ll do something wrong.
Before I’m Ready.
Would you do me a favor? Tell me about something you’ve wanted to do but are still holding out on because you’re not sure if you’re ready. Have you always wanted to start a business? Start a blog? Start running? Become a mom?
If failure was impossible, when would you start?