I was invited by my sister in law a few months ago to attend a Ladies Mountain Bike clinic at Sundance ski resort to take place last week. When she first invited me, I thought, "You're crazy and NO!". The more I thought about it that day, simmering on the idea as my friend would refer to it, I thought, "Okay I'll give it a try". This wasn't to say that I was at all excited about the experience; I was excited to feel accomplished for trying something new.
And that was all that was considered a success. I did achieve the gratification of knowing that I nailed it on trying something that completely terrified me. I nailed it on being positive EVERY time I fell down, I almost nailed it not swearing in my head the whole time. I nailed it enjoying the scenery and meeting new people. I nailed it showing up and going for it, even though I was completely terrified.
Why was I terrified?
Those that don't know me might see me portray myself as fearless and always successful because I jump right in for the opportunity and have a positive attitude, at least most of the time. Despite this misconception, I do have my fears! The difference is, I don't let those fears prevent me from experiencing just enough to form an educated opinion. Those that know me know that I have my reservations about things. I don't like not being in control, therefore anything that is controlled by someone else or another force is no bueno (downhill skiing (which I haven't tried yet so that's not exactly an educated opinion), mountain biking downhill, water skiing, rock climbing, passenger on jet ski, snowmobile or ATV or any moving object for that matter!, and the list could probably go on....)
My point is that you have to face those fears to truly know what you're capable of. I was completely capable of physically biking down the side of the mountain and not falling off every single time I hit the brakes or missed the turn. I was completely capable of having the correct form to allow for optimal speed and aerodynamics. I was completely capable of using my words to express my feelings if I wasn't confident to try after the instruction.
My failure to stay on the bike the entire time and my failure to enjoy the mountain biking sport itself led to my greatest success; the success of surprising myself with optimism and not liking everything I try!
My past has afforded me the privilege of enjoying almost any physical sport I have tried. The problem was getting me to try it sometimes that led to how long it took for me to enjoy it. I would allow myself to get into my own head about falling, messing up, forgetting which side I was supposed to be on, making it over the net, controlling my strength to get it within the box, not fouling, not running faster than the opposing team, etc. I was so surprised that I came up against something that I didn't enjoy.
At first, I was pretty bummed. After all, I told some of my friends about it and knew that they would ask me about my experience. I was bummed to tell them that I didn't enjoy it. What I wasn't bummed about was my open, honest opinion. I was grateful that I formed an opinion off of my experience. I was grateful to know that I needed to eat a piece of humble pie and move on from feeling bummed. That humble pie taught me that failing at something can be my greatest success, if I let it.
Failures lead to successes as we get back up and keep trying. This could be exploring new interests, talents, skills, hobbies, etc. Just because you don't nail everything you set out to do, doesn't mean you're a failure. It means you failed to see the value of it in your life. It doesn't mean that the next guy won't find it to be of great value to their interests, skills, etc.
We're all set out in the journey called 'life' to learn and live life through experiences. If we allow ourselves the opportunity to experience life the best way that we know how and take on challenges or opportunities to try something new; we will always succeed.
For anything that we succeed in the psyche will be amongst our greatest successes.