Cheers To Those Who Start, Fail, and Start Again.

There are many critics in the world, those who can edit other’s writing, those who share “how they would have done it better”, and those who disregard the creativity of the maker who took initiation to start something new.

I have speculated a hypothesis that there aren’t many people who start something new, although every person has the intellect, time, and ability to start something new, however, they don’t…. Why is that?

My thoughts are that the individuals who can start something new have a special gift… it’s called… PERSISTENCE. Now what does persistence have to do with starting something new? Let me share. At one point in our lives we ALL started something new, something that was different, difficult, and exciting. When we set out to try this new venture, activity, job, etc. we had a rush of endorphin's that said “YOU CAN DO THIS”; but what stops us from continuing, or even preventing us from trying something new again? Is it other’s who tell us we can’t? Is it the fear of failure? Is it that the activity became to difficult and we lost interest when we realized it was going to require more effort? My thought is that it comes down to our comfort zone.

Our “comfort zone” is simply imaginary. It’s what we have placed in our minds that sets boundaries. As stated in the term itself it is a “zone”, but who set the the borders of our zone? We DID. When we set out to try playing a new sport and the other kids on the playground teased us because we couldn’t kick the ball as well as them, or make it in the basket as many times, we then had a new border for our comfort zone. This new border isn’t secure and can be broken with a little “pick-me up”, or even some practice to help you feel that it’s possible to learn this new activity.

We go through life placing little borders here and there that define our comfort zone. Maybe we kept on practicing basketball and eventually became the best player in the neighborhood/school/league. What happens when you realize that you just weren’t meant to play basketball as a career because you’re 5'3" and can’t jump higher than 12". What happens now? Well you may have to start something new… This requires you to be a beginner again. It’s also a realization that the little borders that we once placed in our life grew each day and defined our comfort zone. The little stick that once showed where our border ended, is now a wall that makes the outside seem daunting.

How do we start over? Where is our pride at that moment? I ask these questions because it’s scary starting something new. It requires us to be humble, to recognize our weaknesses, and to understand the only way to understand success is to fail; fail early, and fail often. The thought that we aren’t the talented basketball player that we once thought we were requires us to now become the talent-less _____________.

When you start something new, it’s not just the creativity that comes from taking something out of nothing, it’s the ability to recognize that you are going to FAIL, and you’re OK with that, in-fact, you embrace failure knowing you are going to get better each time you fail. This requires persistence, not in the event that you have started something once; but rather, that you have started something before, failed, and have been able start again. This is the definition of success in my mind.

All too often I fear that I may stop wanting to try something new because I’ve failed too many times that I should stay in my comfort zone. I fear that I may take a job because I know how much money I’ll make each year, and know that I can move my way up the corporate ladder to a comfortable salary that can provide for my family. I fear that I will know how my day will actually go instead of the surprise of failure and having to be persistent to find a solution.

I have started several businesses in my life, some have failed, and some have failed hard. Although it may seem that I am focusing on failure, I actually am grateful for each time I failed and deem it as my success. My success is determined by the ability to come out of the situation knowing how to solve a problem, but more so, understanding a bit more about myself.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt

So Cheers to those who start, those who are persistent and find the value in their ventures to be the lessons they learned while failing. Cheers to those who fail and start again. Cheers to those who stare their fears in the face and still walk forward knowing they are going to fail, yet keep going.