Permission to Fail:
Permission to Fail
Sometimes we must give ourselves permission to fail to succeed. This requires time; however, we often do not want to give up time if we are not sure we are going to succeed.
Five years ago, I had an opportunity to create a raffle quilt for a fundraiser at my town’s local grange. I knew exactly what I wanted to create but doubted my ability to pull it off. I decided simply to give myself permission to fail and extra time to do it in case I failed the first try. The quilt I envisioned was a collage of a daffodil. The quilt would be raffled off and its proceeds would go to local charities. I knew what technique I wanted to use but had never attempted it before. As I started the project, I had my doubts and I often questioned myself, but I continued to move forward. There were times when I was getting the look I wanted and other times when I was skeptical of the outcome. When doubt reared its ugly head, I would give myself permission to take a break, but made myself return and continue. Gradually, my daffodil became a series of layers. As I worked through the layers, the quilt took on a life of its own and started to speak to me. I was able to make decisions and stopped worrying about whether it was the “right” way. It was my way and that was okay. As I moved through the project, I gained momentum and confidence in my technique and how the quilt was developing. In the end, I was thrilled with the finished piece.
So, when we give ourselves permission to fail, we also take the pressure off ourselves to succeed and that is where the real learning begins. As a result, we gain the confidence to take on more projects and the ability to challenge ourselves with new techniques. When this happens, we are not failing. We are learning. And if we have learned, then we have succeeded.