I grew up in a family where making mistakes or lacking perfection was not an acceptable option. As an adult, I am fine with this, I realize that perfection does not exist but I do strive for excellence and I think that this sort of upbringing helped define my drive. My question is this though; what happens if the fear of failure or making a mistake is keeping you from making change, growing or achieving your true desires?

If you have not made a mistake lately, ask yourself:

1. Am I challenging myself?

2. Am I requesting or hearing feedback from others?

3. Am I taking risks?

For me, the answers to these questions was no, so as scary as it was for me, I challenged myself to submit an essay to a local organization’s annual writing contest. The deadline was last week on the 12th. My fear translated into procrastination and I did not start the essay until Friday and it had to be postmarked by Saturday. I determined a topic and challenged myself to be “real”, then I asked my husband for some honest feedback (he is not afraid to be brutally honest with me). I accepted his feedback, made some changes and got it sent in.

It was challenging to write, I asked for feedback and the risk of emotional exposure has been invigorating. I don’t know that I will win; that is not really the point. The point for me is the fact that I took the step, made the leap and as scary as it was, I think it will be easier next time.