Mompreneur Monday – On Fear and Failing

mlk-quote

Happy Mompreneur Monday everyone! Let’s start this off with a bang. By talking about the Big Fs. Fear and Failing.

I was humbled and overwhelmed (in a good way) by your positive response to this whole Mompreneur Monday idea. And as I listened to my friends and read the comments on facebook and on my last post, it became pretty clear that the biggest thing holding us back from starting our dreams is fear. And more specifically, fear of failing.

Olivia and I were building the tallest tower the other day. Our goal is to build a tower from the floor to the ceiling. And we’ve come really close, but it keeps falling. So the other day, we were building and building and without warning, it toppled over. I was disappointed. Frustrated that our hard work was sitting in a pile of rubble in front of us. Pondering the physics of these stupid blocks that will probably never reach the ceiling. But then I looked at Olivia. And she wasn’t disappointed or frustrated or sad or angry. She was laughing.

“We’ll build it again! And it will fall again.”

Oh. Good point. “Have you been reading Seth Godin?” I said. (To which she laughed again and said, “No Mommy! I been building blocks!” Silly me.) How could this kid who’s only been stringing sentences together for a few months be so damn wise? We will build our tower again. And it will fall again. And then we’ll build it again! And each time, we’ll learn about what in our structure is failing. And we’ll try something new and get closer to the ceiling. And that’s pretty much how everything in life is. We will try something. And we will fail. And we will try again, but this time smarter. And we’ll fail again. And do better next time.

We can’t really avoid failure. Well we can, but it involves avoiding life and never trying, and having lived that life before I can tell you–it’s not worth it. It’s boring and sad and it doesn’t really make the fear go away (in fact, I think it magnifies it.) So the point is not to avoid the impending failure, but rather to accept it. To try anyway. To see how close you can get to success before your tower tumbles. To embrace the joy as you’re building. To pay attention to what you learn as it’s falling.

When I saw this quote all over Instagram this morning, I really didn’t want re-use it. I wanted to find another quote, or do no quote at all, or write a whole post about diversity and acceptance, or something. But this idea of embracing failure and moving forward anyway has been on my heart and on my mind all week and this is the post that I knew I needed to write today. And this is just the most fitting quote ever, so I’m going with it.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

So there is your task for today. Have faith in yourself. Have faith in your dream. Be childlike in your journey. Know that you are going to fail and take the first step anyway. You don’t have to take all the steps now, just one. Buy that domain name even if you’re afraid your website will fail. Bake a batch of treats even if you’re afraid no one will taste them. Sketch your next dress design even if you’re afraid no one will wear it. List your first card on Etsy, even if you’re afraid no one will buy it. Write a blog post even if you’re afraid no one will read it. Put the next block on the tower, even if you’re afraid it will fall. It will fall. And you will build it again.

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5 thoughts on “Mompreneur Monday – On Fear and Failing

  1. Thank you so much for the continuing support and encouragement 🙂 I did manage to write another blog post, and am circling around ideas for my business.. tho feeling a lot less confident about it than I was last year. But I’m not giving up! If I have to take a step (or two) back and look at it for a while before I make my next move, that’s what I’ll do.. but I’m not giving up!

    • I read and loved your post! I’m happy to hear you’re not giving up on your bakery! Let’s get together for coffee/almond milk steamers sometime soon and chat business! I know nothing about starting a cake business, but I have a lot of love and encouragement to give! Confidence comes and goes, but that’s okay. It’s choosing to move forward despite our confidence level that makes a difference.

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