Go Ahead and . . . Fail!

So we went to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday.   It was lovely, and I had the pleasure of sitting across the table from my niece, Julie.   

Julie is in her twenties and recently moved to Los Angeles.  She’s still trying to find her place in the world– she has a decent job working in a chiropractor’s office, but isn’t quite sure  what she wants to do long-term.    Brimming with talent, Julie is a musician and plays the flute beautifully.  And she is a wealth of knowledge on nutrition.  She’s like an encyclopedia on how different foods and herbs can ease specific ailments.   After watching her light up once we talked nutrition, I suggested she consider pursuing the field and become a nutritionist.    

Julie hesitated.   She said she wants to do something like that, but isn’t sure where to start.  She’s not sure how to transfer her knowledge into making money.   She doesn’t know how to market herself.  She’d have to go to school to get licensed.  She lacks confidence!  

So I told Julie about some books that have helped me in the confidence area.     

Like The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale; How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie.  And The Secret by  Rhonda Byrne.  One concept in particular is repeated over and over in these books.  When you think positively, positive things come back to you.      

Revelling in the “Wise Aunt” mode, I continued with my pep talk. I told Julie to “Fake it Till She Makes it.”   She certainly has the knowledge and definitely the passion for nutrition.   But if she isn’t confident about herself, people will sense that.  You can be the best expert in the world, but if you’re not sure of yourself, nobody’s going to buy into what you have to say.  However, if she fakes being self-assured, one day she will find she actually IS self-assured! 

And hand in hand with “faking it till you make it” is taking risks.  Fearlessly.  Without worrying.  What’s the worst that can happen?  You FAIL!  

Once you realize that failure is okay, you’ve taken the biggest step toward success. 

The fear of failure leads to inaction, which gets you nowhere.   But if you take action, you are more likely to achieve your goal.  Sure, you may fail.  But that’s okay.  Failure, contrary to popular belief, can be good.  Because it means you take risks.  And it helps you learn what didn’t go quite right.  

So you tweak your approach.   Or maybe you take a u-turn toward another direction.   Eventually, through the process of elimination,  you learn what works.  You achieve, finally, SUCCESS!

Julie mentioned Thomas Edison.  He  failed hundreds (maybe even thousands–the actual number varies– Google it!) of times before he discovered the light bulb–  but it was his attitude that was so incredible–  he just considered each failed attempt as helping him eliminate what didn’t work.   And ultimately getting him closer to success.

There are countless other people who have experienced failure before finding success.  Edison is just one example.    But failing hundreds of times?  It takes a lot of confidence to keep pursuing your goal after that.  Thank God Edison was a confident man.  Because after all, where would our society be today if Thomas Edison had been afraid of failure? 

You got it. 

In the dark.

As for Julie, she is talented, smart, and sure to find success in life. It was a pleasure talking to her and cheering her on in her future endeavors. Good luck to you, sweet niece!

5 Comments

Filed under Books, Family, Inspiration, Life, Reading, Uncategorized

5 responses to “Go Ahead and . . . Fail!

  1. Cynthia Picardo

    This is so true, Good to Great is another fabulous book. Worth reading a few times.
    Good Luck Julie

  2. Julie

    Aunt Cherie,
    Thank you so much for that conversation! Words cannot fully express how your patience, knowledge and wisdom are helping me. I’m so blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for posting our conversation too- now i get to print it out and always have it! I hope it helps others 🙂
    Love Julie

  3. Andi

    i like this post Cheri. there is a lot of truth in those familiar sayings. laurie anderson says it’s always hard starting because that’s where the fear is. so fake it till you make it!

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