Last weekend I went to the beach with three of my dearest friends. While we are all big fans of white sand beaches, infinity pools and drinks with umbrellas, this wasn't that kind of beach. It was the Oregon coast in March which, while beautiful, is not something you associate with swimwear or burying your toes in the sand.
What it's perfect for is talking...which we did nonstop for three days. More importantly, for this blog, we spent an entire evening cozied up in front of the fireplace while we dissected our fears of failure.
These women aren't the kind of people you would expect to harbor deep-seated fears about failure. They're ivy league smart with impressive jobs, or the ability to obtain impressive jobs if the winds blow them in that direction. They all have amazing children, loving husbands and beautiful homes. They are successful by any standard and yet, somehow they all had a lot to contribute to our fear of failure discussion.
At some point in the evening we had an epiphany. We realized our fears of failure are like t-shirt sizes. They come in small, medium and large. No matter what size you are, you can be certain there will be a fear of failure that is the perfect fit for you.
Failure: Size Small.
These are things that we aspire to do. We might work at them from time-to-time but over all, the stakes are low.
My best example of size small failure fear centers around pie crust. My mom makes the world's best pie crust. She can have it rolled out on the counter, draped over the rolling pin and laid out in a pie pan in less time than it takes me to write a blog post.
When I make pie crust, using the same recipe handed down through the generations, the results aren't the same. There is breakage, patching and frustration. This isn't enough to prevent me from making the pie crust but I certainly wouldn't ever offer to bring pie to my mother's house.
If it were any other recipe I'd say forget it. Cut my losses and move on but this recipe is a family legacy. I want to get it right so that, maybe, someday, I'll be able to make it for my grandchildren. On the other hand, do my pie crust fiascos keep me up at night? No, emphatically no! Still, until I get them right, my pies won't be something I bring to a dinner party.
So, blog readers. What's the focus of your size small failure fear? Remember, the key here is small and low stakes. I'm saving size medium failure for Wednesday.