As Yoda said, "Do or do not. There is no try."
I don't know where I got my courage from. Not to say that there aren't moments of fear in my life, but for the most part, I find myself willingly stepping into the unknown and risking failure. And that's one of the things I love about myself.
I think back to key points of my life where I've stepped into the unknown and just trusted that the universe would catch me, that I'd succeed or get the learning that I was supposed to get from whatever failure happened.
My philosophy in university was "take all the classes that look interesting. If you don't like a class, don't take it again." I was fortunate enough that tuition only cost half an arm and a leg, and that I was able to take courses from 16 different disciplines - an academic buffet of knowledge. I dove fearlessly into a few C's, D's and an F. There may even be an N (incomplete) in there for good measure. Because deep down I knew, no matter what my grade was, it didn't determine my worth as a person. I value my diverse education (chemistry, sociology, English, history, economics, philosophy, Japanese, archaeology, religion, etc) - I feel like exposing myself to all of those things have made me a more well-rounded person.
While my stomach drops each time I'm about to go on stage for stand up comedy, whether I'm telling new or old jokes, I get such a high from making people laugh. And there have been times where there were only 8 other people in the audience and they were other comics. They didn't laugh. Thinking back on that night, I chuckle - it isn't as though there is a finite amount of laughter to be had. I've had to go onstage after a 10 year old boy performed his stand up comedy (an uncomfortable routine on puberty and sex ed at school), and perform my "Elmo discovers PlushyLovers.com on Google" bit. I've had less successful nights. But I didn't let it stop me from getting back on stage, because I LOVE being on stage, lighting up people's faces with laughter.
I've picked up and moved to another country on less than three weeks' notice - never once thinking about whether people would like me. Because I like me. And when you like yourself (in a healthy, nurturing way, not an ego-maniacal, narcissistic way), people will like you, too. I've made new friends everywhere we've lived (3 new cities in 30 months!). Not everyone is going to be your best friend for life, but there are adventures and new learnings in every relationship. Think back on who you were a year ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago? Have your relationships, positive or negative, helped shape who you are today?
And now, I'm stepping into all sorts of new things. For example, I've decided to try out filming cooking videos in sign language - I cook, talk and sign all at the same time. (Don't ask me to juggle, though.) As a coda (child of deaf adults), I sometimes worry about how I'm perceived when I work within the deaf community. When it comes down to it, there will be deaf people who appreciate the work I do - as a coach, speaker, presenter and now as a online chef- and there will be deaf people who don't. It was a revelation - and I have those a lot - for me to understand and accept that you can't make everyone happy so make yourself happy and the others will follow.
I have no idea if 2013 will be a prosperous year - but both hubby and I are stepping into trusting ourselves and giving ourselves the tools we need to succeed as entrepreneurs. I have no idea what awaits me on the other side. I think part of me really likes the unknown - that, "what's next?" moment. It's scary, exciting and delicious.
We all have failures in our life, but those are the people I love - because they actually did something. And those who learn from their failures are stronger for them.
What's a struggle or a failure that you've had that you'd like to celebrate and give thanks for?