Saturday, June 4, 2011

What Would You Attempt If You Knew You Couldn't Fail?

It's been awhile since I last blogged, but today I felt compelled to write something down. I have to admit, as I’m sure most parents feel this way, that caring for a family sometimes takes precedence over doing the things we really want to do, and this is why I make a conscious effort to push myself to find time to balance it with outlets that are also part of my passion any opportunity I get. There were moments when I'd get frustrated, feeling like time was not my own, but seeing my kid grow so fast over the last six years made me realize that that time is precious, and I have to enjoy those special moments of togetherness while she still wants me around, since I know there will come the dreaded day when that little one will want nothing to do with me. Furthermore, just like there is a time and a season for everything, I'm hopeful that my moment as a break-through author will come, so I am in no hurry. I've learned to take things in stride, enjoy those little tender blessings, and everything else will fall into place.
So does this mean that I shouldn’t have goals? Of course not, I do have small immediate and attainable ones, and one of them is to get certified as a Krav Maga level 1 instructor. After all, I need to use whatever strength and energy I have left, since I'm sure that stamina will begin to wane in another 20 yrs. I think by then I'll probably have to change my blog name to Krav Maga Grandma. Ha!
Which brings me to what I want to write about. Today, I read a question posted on my Facebook feed. The question was, "What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?" That was a very good question, which prompted me to answer that I attempt the things I want to accomplish in spite of knowing that I might fail.
That hasn’t always been the case, as evidenced by the fact that I took a long time to build up the courage to get something published, but Krav Maga has solidified that philosophy for me not to give up (go to this link at my writing blog if you would like to read more as to what changed that). There were times that I was scared out of my pants, running scenarios with men twice my size or doing things I didn’t think I could do, like throwing myself into a forward roll while running—yeah, that was graceful—or practicing how to fall on my back. There were moments when I asked myself, “Where are your scruples, and what are you thinking doing this at 40 when you can barely move your arms the next day?”  But I pushed myself to hold my thoughts captive, get rid of the self-defeating thoughts that told me I couldn't do this. Sure, sometimes I was  pummeled like a flat pancake, but I lived. This gave me a great sense of accomplishment. I think the main reason that motivated me to keep going, and I'm going to be truly honest here, was overcoming my fear over an incident that happened to me twenty-three yrs. ago. I survived an attack when someone placed me in a choke. The experience was terrifying to say the least, and reliving that event at the Krav center when I had to run certain simulated scenarios, always sent me into a state of panic. One of my instructors told me that the only way I was going to lessen the anxiety of that experience was to continue working on similar situations until the fear went away. It wasn't easy; there were times when I felt I was going to freeze or forget what I needed to do, but I kept going back to it, learning to react faster, trying not to forget what I needed to do and pushing myself to conquer that feeling of powerlessness. When I failed, I would reflect on where I went wrong and try again the next time around.
Aside from the Lord who gives me the strength to do this, Krav Maga saved me. It has taught me to be almost fearless when it comes doing what I set out to do. Sometimes, we don't attempt to try the things we want because we are afraid to fail, but it's those very failures that we can use to learn from to help us attain our goals. It’s okay to make mistakes. It's okay for people to point out our flaws to help us pick up the pieces, so we can fill in the gaps where we need improvement to help us grow. Every mistake is a life lesson, makes us wiser, clearer, stronger. The key here is to reflect on where it is we need to improve and grow from it.
With that said, I'm now seven days away from trying out for Level 1, Krav Instructor. I have a heart for helping battered women, so that's why I want to do this. I’ve worked hard at preparing for the try-outs, and all I can do is my best, learn from whatever mistakes I may make and think that the worst that could happen, aside from the beating I'm going to get, is that they will say no. That word is not foreign to me. Agents, editors, and publishers tell me no all the time. In fact, I think I've gotten about a hundred no's, but throughout those responses, I have also gotten a few yesses, and those are the moments I live for. So I have to try, learn from it and even though I don't intend to, if I fail at my tryout, I'll try again, until I succeed.
So back to the question I saw on my FB post. What would I do if I knew I couldn't fail? I wouldn't do anything differently. I’d still attempt at doing the things I’d love to do. Failure builds perseverance, character, discernment, growth, wisdom. I will continue to do the things I want to accomplish in spite of knowing that I may fail by learning from my mistakes, adjust to the changes I need to make and make those improvements.  I fight for the things I value, even if failure is imminent. I couldn't live life with the regret of never having tried.

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