Last fall my daughter tried out for the role of Kaa in the Jungle Book. She told me that she froze on stage and ran off crying. She explained to me that I “did not know” what it was like to mess up and that she felt like a failure. I laughed to myself because I remember numerous times of being embarassed as a child and EVEN as an adult.
What she said to me made me realize that kids often see their parents as having no faults or inadequacies and as much as they may disagree with us at times, they have this wild idea that we are perfect. I simply shared with her several instances of me forgetting my lines for Easter speeches, freezing when I was asked to give a prayer in front of a packed church, missing notes and having a squeeky pitch with my clarinet when I tried out for All City orchestra. My point to her was this…what she is seeing in me is the product of lessons that were learned from mistakes over the years and that I too make mistakes, forget things, and feel embarassed at times. Before we had our talk she had made up her mind that she was NOT going to try out again the following day, but I told her that the greatest failure is not in failing, but rather in not trying at all.
When we aspire to achieve a certain goal, yet talk ourselves out of it because we are scared that we might mess up we will forever be haunted by those “what ifs” and “only ifs”. Regardless of how our attempts end, it is in our failures that we build character, learn more about our capabilities. and discover our true selves. Be an inspiration to someone today. Encourage them to pursue those goals that they have long sought after. Who knows you may not have to go too far outside of your reflection in the mirror:)