Allowing Yourself to Fail can be Liberating

Making positive changes in our lives is going to involve some experimentation. We will have to try new things. I know, it’s terrifying, and the unfamiliar is uncomfortable. It can be especially uncomfortable if you have ADHD and need the instant gratification of success and perfection.  We might be telling ourselves, “Change takes time and effort, and why put in effort into something that just won’t work out?”  

Well, how do we know something won’t work before we even try it? Even if it doesn’t work, what are we telling ourselves is the worst that can happen? Time is going to pass no matter what. We could either tell ourselves trying something automatically won’t work- which isn’t always based on fact- or we can actually try it and find out for ourselves. Who knows what we may discover along the way.

It takes time to learn new things. We aren’t going to be great at creating the change we want right away, so how can we take away the pressures of needing to be immediately successful?

What if you allowed yourself to fail? What would it be like to be okay with failing? If you fail once, does it mean you can never try again? That it’s now illegal to make any sort of effort to create positive change? If you can’t run a 6-minute mile on your first run ever, does that mean you’ll never be able to run a 6-minute mile? If you aren’t fluent in another language the first time you use Duolingo does that mean you will never learn any of the language?

I believe it was Jake from the children’s show Adventure Time that said, “Sucking at something is the first step to becoming sorta good at something.” Can you allow yourself to suck for a little bit?

Lets say the goal is to learn how to cook more meals for yourself. You may need to start with cooking some easy recipes or use semi-homemade items to get started. You may only have the stamina to cook one or two times a week at first. You may over season, under season, or burn what you’re cooking.

Do these failures define you? Is it something you will one day be able to laugh about? How much power are you giving your fear of failure? What would it be like to take away that power?

If you give yourself permission to fail, how many more times could you try? What are you telling yourself you will fail doing even though you’ve never tried? What is fear of failure keeping you from trying?

How much power do you want to give the fear of failure, and what can you do to (slowly if necessary) eliminate that fear in order to be your authentic self?

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