Life is about taking risks. Anything worth anything costs something – and often not money. In order to love, you need to make yourself vulnerable to being hurt. In order to succeed, you need to put yourself out there to potentially fail. In order to succeed at anything, you must first be a beginner. In order to grow, you must acknowledge your weaknesses.
These things can be hard to do. Nobody wants to be hurt – but we all want love. Nobody wants to fail – but we want to succeed. Nobody enjoys the awkward phase of being a beginner, and let’s face it – it isn’t easy to acknowledge that we are wrong, flawed, imperfect beings. It’s scary. People might reject us. But guess what? That is inevitable.
If you follow your dreams, take risks, make yourself vulnerable… OR if you stay safe and live the way everybody expects you to – you are not going to please everybody all the time. Even if you never take a risk in your life, you will inevitably fail. If you never make yourself vulnerable to be hurt – you will still get hurt. And you’ll have weaknesses, whether you want to face them or not!
It’s the irony of success, really. The only way to the things we want in life is scary – and yet the very things that stand as roadblocks to our dreams will inevitably sour our lives. They say when you are old, it’s not the things you did that you regret, but the things that you didn’t do.
This week, I was confronted with something in myself, where I realized that I had a choice. I could choose to be vulnerable, or to close myself off. Guess what I did? I’d love to say I followed my own counsel and chose vulnerability, the unknown, the potential to fail, etc., etc – but nope. I got scared and shut the whole thing down. Quit. And then it struck me, the vulnerability, the potential to be hurt, to fail – that is the only path to the things that we value in life. Success. Love. Achievement. Happiness. Meaningful friendships.
So, I messed up. Made a mistake. Recognized it and moved forward. The veiled beauty of growth is the freedom to make mistakes. It’s the only way to grow and change, learn and develop. Sometimes your mistakes will cost you. Sometimes you can redeem them. The important thing isn’t the outcome. It’s the determination to keep going. To live your absolute best life. To stay soft. Hungry to learn, grow and live the best possible life. And recognize mistakes, fears and all the other bumps along the road are just that…bumps. Don’t let them stop you!