Let’s Begin Again. Three little words that have transformed my mindset about failure.
There are so many phrases aimed at making failure more palatable, even desirable, in our culture right now.
No risk, no reward.
Innovation requires iteration.
If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying.
They all contain some truth. And they are all useless to a perfectionist like me. I hear those words and pull out the endless checklist in my mind of things I need to do to be (or appear) successful and add them to the bottom. Item #348 to gain approval from others: pretend to take risks so you look like you are trying.
I know it sounds silly, but I am sure I am not the only one who does this bait and switch on myself before I even noticed that I've missed the point. I need a heart connection and the feeling of safety to begin to take real risks. That's where this simple mantra found me. Looking for a solid foundation from which to leap. (If you missed the backstory, check out part one.)
Foundation for Beginning Again
Let’s begin again. This phrase starts with the most important word. The one that points to community. We are not in this alone. Let’s. The truth is we are never alone. “Let’s” reminds me that I can always connect. To God, my friends, my family and to myself. That last one (myself) is the most overlooked. But I am in a committed relationship with myself. I take me everywhere I go. If God promises to His people, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you,” and I am being transformed into the likeness of God, wouldn’t that be a good practice for me to adopt?
Be like God today: don’t leave or forsake yourself.
Next word. Begin. We take our eye off past failure, and we shift to the open space lying before us. We step into the present moment. The best thing about the past is that it’s over. It’s not happening right now, and we have this beautiful gift surrounding us. This new beginning. This new moment. And they are always coming at us like that. One after another. Taking the old away, bringing in the next. Time is a generous gift.
It takes practice to wake up to the present moment and engage. It take discipline to step in. We can only ever risk in the “right now.” Moving with the moment brings an ease and a lightness to our work. It reminds us to play. It invites us into freedom. Not to mention it’s our only option for living. We must go with what we’ve got...and begin.
The phrase ends with tenacity and hope. Again. I love this word. It is the word of second chances. It is the word of the relentless. It reminds me that I will never run out of new opportunities to create, as long as I keep saying yes. I am never out of time or words or ideas. I am never out of do-overs. There is always room for one more try, because I make the room for myself. I’ll never run out of chances, because I am the one in my life who can always choose to pick myself up and whisper in my own ear…
“Let’s begin again."