Not Yet by Giselle Marrinnan,
“I can accept failure; everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying”- Michael Jordan.
Our earliest memories of school have been about getting the dreaded’ fail’ in our exams or the much sought after’ pass’. We live in a society where everything we do is about being a success and not just a success, but better than everyone else. We don’t put enough emphasis on the word ‘trying’. Surely a sign of growth is to at least try something once.
I remember reading about a school in the states who changed their grading system, so that kids who failed at an assignment, hadn’t ‘fail’ on their paper but the comment ‘not yet’. The psychology behind this is brilliant. It means that they have something to work towards and that in time they will become motivated to succeed.
How many times have you thought about trying something new and have been afraid to get off the starter block for fear of failure? When I wrote my first book last year, it was a dream come true. I had toyed with the idea as a teenager and even joined The London School of Journalism to gen up on my writing skills. I wrote a few short stories but never bothered to get them published. But decades later, I finally got the courage to have a bash. Maybe it is an age thing, nothing to lose and all that!
However, I think it runs deeper than this. After all, if it was an age thing, then where do all the young writers fit into this scenario? I am thinking in particular about the 6-year-old Swiss boy, Christopher Beale who wrote ‘This and Last Season’s Excursions’ in 2006 or Flavia Bujor who at the age of 14 was being hailed as France’s literary sensation.
I think it has everything to do with confidence and belief in yourself and particularly other’s belief in you. It got me thinking about the messages we give ourselves both consciously and unconsciously and who we choose to hang out with. Both of these questions are important. What self –talk have we got into the habit of reciting to ourselves? What limitations have we put on our abilities? Whose opinion are we listening to and really, is it worth listening to them?
I am of the mindset now, that we have one life and if we have a burning desire to at least try a new challenge, then go for it and to hell with whether we succeed or not. In an article in dailypostiveinfo.com on the15 regrets that people have voiced on their death bed there was one which resonated with me, “We never dare to do things that we wanted, just because we were too afraid of failing”.
Points for You to Ponder and Explore
- Was I always lacking in confidence and if not when did it start?
- In the past, if someone put me down, did I learn from it and move on; or has it defined who I am now?
- Have I ever felt confident in my life? If so, how did this feel for me?
- What would having confidence mean for me?
- When I say that: “I lack confidence”, is it based on a particular situation or area in my life, e.g. work, or does it spill into other areas my life?
- Am I constantly comparing myself to others?
- Am I setting my standards in life too high, maybe based on the values and expectations of others?
- What do my friends say about me? How much does it matter to me?
- Are any of friends or family, good at helping me feel more confident?
- How does it serve me to continue living life without self -esteem?
- If I had more confidence, what would I be doing right now?
- Am I avoiding certain social occasions because of lack of confidence? (I always say: You can go to a party and stay in the cupboard for the night, but what will you have gained?)
- If someone came to me and asked me to help with a self- confidence issue, what would I advise them? (Take time over this one. You may have more answers than you think).
Not yet? Then when?
*Giselle Marrinan is the author of the book, ‘Another Zero: Bring the Joy Back into Your Life’ (2018) with Book Hub Publishing.