I love Neil Gaiman’s New Year’s greetings. I love this one especially from 2008:
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
I hope this blog contributes in some small way to your confidence in trying new things, making mistakes, and risking failure. I’d like a world in which women get to try new things and fail and not worry that it’s evidence that women aren’t good at that thing, or not meant really to do that thing.
I read somewhere once that sometimes our most spectacular failures yield more good than our small timid successes. I think that’s true.
We’re not afraid to take risks around here. I thought Tracy was very brave to give road cycling a try even though she suffers from fear and anxiety about riding on the road. Even though she decided that cycling wasn’t for her, she gave it a good go. That’s never a waste of time. Personally, I loved road cycling right from my very first ride but that isn’t true with everything I do. Running and I have a complicated relationship. I also struggle all the time with fear of failure and anxiety around not being good enough in Aikido.
And if I break my leg trying downhill skiing this year, feel free to remind me about this post!