Fear of failing always clung to me like Saran Wrap every time I thought about putting fingers to keyboard and writing my first children's book.
Instead of attacking my monster with determination, I whined to anyone who'd listen. "It's not good enough. My crit partner hates what I've written so far. The book will be a flop. What's the use?"
I was content to wallow in pity, but I changed the way I viewed things after speaking to a family member. "So what if you fail?" he asked. "Will the earth stop turning, your life no longer exist?"
No, of course not.
He went on to point out that we fail, at least once a day, every day of our lives at something: returning a phone call; meeting a deadline; ruining a recipe. The REAL failure is never having tried at all.
- Thomas Edison created over 1,000 light bulbs until he made one that worked.
- Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper because he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas".
- Oprah Winfrey, once a TV reporter, was fired because she wasn't "fit to be onscreen".
- Dr. Seuss was rejected by 27 publishers before his first book was printed.
So...what do all these people have in common? Determination. They didn't let their failure define who they were, and became even more determined to succeed.
Every time we DO fail, there's a lesson behind it. Some parts may be unchangeable, but it's up to us to re-group and try again.
So...what's stopping you?
Debbie Roppolo is an award-winning writer, submissions editor for DWB Publishing, and the author of the Amelia Frump children's book series.