One of the hardest things for me to teach in yoga is that it’s ok to fail. How will you ever learn to do a pose or improve a pose if you don’t try it in the first place. And if you try, especially a challenging pose, you will most likely fail. But that’s ok. If you fall- who cares. We all get so afraid of failure. We only want to do what we are good at and try what we know we will succeed in. But there is joy in the unknown.
This desire to only do what we are good at starts at a young age. My ten year old was telling me that even though he qualified to participate in the Geography Bee, he didn’t want to do it since he didn’t think he could win. Instead of seeing his accomplishments, getting to be in the Bee, he saw the potential for failure. I told him to go for it, if he got out in the first round so what, at least he tried and he might surprise himself and go father.
It was right after this conversation that I read an Newsweek article about Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. Talking about her amazing success she said she was always willing to take risks because her father taught her to embrace failure. He would cheer for his children when they failed, redefining her definition of failure.
How wonderful is that? I personally have embraced that goal to try to redefine failure for my children and for myself. For me the easiest place to start is on the mat. What pose have I been afraid to try? What pose have I only been half doing because I might fail ( or fall!) if i really went for it.
Today I start redefining failure. Care to join me?