I went biking over by this hill today, my father tells me.
The last time I was there, I couldn’t bike up it. I had to get off and walk it.
I nod. I know that experience.
It felt like a failure, my father says. I nod again. I know that feeling.
Today, I was over by the hill, my father continues. And I thought, I don’t want another failure. I’ll avoid the hill.
Yes, I said, I’ve stopped at that thought, too. Put a period on it. Thought it was the end of the story.
Well, my father said, then I thought that if I failed again, I’d be no worse off now than I was last time. But if I rode all the way up, I’d feel better.
I don’t nod. I turn to my father and grin. It’s incredible when people decide they won’t let fear of failure get the last word.
So my father showed up at the hill. He started biking up. And here’s the thing: I don’t even remember if he got all the way up. But here’s the other thing: it doesn’t matter.
What matters is that the thinking went past, I don’t want to fail, to, I don’t want to be governed by fear of failure.
Fear of failure can be a part of the process. But it doesn’t need to be the end of the process.
Here’s to showing up to the hill.