Failure of Courage

Failure of Courage

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Yesterday I was able to sit with my morning cup of tea and watch Super Soul Sunday as it aired (a rare treat). The guest was Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees, so I was particularly interested in hearing what a fellow writer had to say about following her calling. It wasn’t very far into the program when she openly admitted that her choice not to pursue writing all those years ago was a “failure of courage.” Instead, she had played it safe, chose a steady and respectable career, and felt that something was missing from her life for years. Fast forward thirty years and now she’s a best selling author who is both fulfilling her calling and living her dream.

“Failure of courage “ – those three little words have been bouncing around in my head since yesterday morning. We all know that failure in and of itself isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it is often helpful in the process of discovery, whether it be in a laboratory, while learning a new skill, or even when trying to discover your true passion. Thomas Edison once said regarding the invention of the light bulb, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Failure often helps in ensuring our eventual success, but failure of courage is the one type of failure that we should never accept in our lives if we wish to live in our sweet spot. There’s another famous quote that comes to mind (although I can’t remember who to credit for it) – “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” As we count down to a new year, maybe now is a good time to summon our own courage, step out of our comfort zone and finally go for it. Failure may be part of the journey, but no amount of failure will ever outweigh the regret of not doing what you know deep inside you were put here to do. Here’s to finding the courage to take the leap in 2015.

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