My New Year’s Resolution: Fail More
I don’t take a lot of risks.
In fact, you could argue that I don’t take any risks, because the ‘risks’ that I do take are analyzed so intensely beforehand to make sure that my odds are favorable. When I try something new, I do so only after I’ve received the correct number of positive reinforcements that I’ve deemed necessary for the task at hand.
I do this because I do not want to fail.
I am so afraid of doing something poorly that I would rather not do it at all. I am so afraid that someone will say ‘no’ to my idea that I convince myself that my idea is not worth sharing.
This has worked pretty well so far. In high school, I only tried out for the roles in the school plays that I was sure I would get. I never went for the lead part, only the supporting roles. I convinced myself that I didn’t want the starring roles, but I was lying to myself. My senior year of high school I applied to exactly three colleges. My grades and SAT scores fit perfectly in their average range. Even my “reach” school was reachable. I did this so that I would not chance getting a rejection letter.
I continued my lifestyle of playing it safe throughout college and adulthood.
I even play it safe when ordering food at a restaurant. I rarely try something new. Because to try something new means that I might get something that I don’t like. Never mind that I might taste something more delicious than my safe option, I’m not going to risk having a bad experience.
So this year, I’m going to try new things. If I have an idea, I’m going to go with it. I’m going to put myself out there in areas that I previously convinced myself that I would fail in. My hope is that I’ll discover new loves and new passions in life. It also means I might fail a few times. I might order a dessert I don’t like. I might get a ‘no’ when I was hoping for a ‘yes.’ I might hear ‘no’ 10 times before I hear a yes. It might stink. It might be hard to get rejected over and over again for something that I really want.
But something tells me that the thrill of finally succeeding, even after failing many times, is worth it.