By Lauren Catanese
“It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again…at least fails while daring greatly.” – Teddy Roosevelt
How many times have you “seemingly” failed at something in your life? Even when you take a chance, get knocked down, and have the faith to get back up, you fall again, back in the dirt. It feels like you keep messing up, and are rejected. This leaves you vulnerable and heartbroken. It makes you feel like you have missed something somewhere. It’s natural to start being hard on yourself. The first story you tell yourself is that somehow you are not enough, but it’s time to change that story. It’s not that there’s a need to make up a new one, but more that the story needs to get straight. When you have tried, failed, and feel like you’re obviously doing something wrong because you keep experiencing heartache, and wonder where it comes from, what if there were another reason?
What if it’s because you’re a person who is courageous enough to even take a risk in the first place? You are a person who takes chances, you live inside the fire. Maybe you feel these things, because “you can’t sit on the sidelines and say you’re satisfied.” (Garth Brooks). You know no other way but to dare greatly, knowing you might end up in the dirt with your face marred by sweat and blood. But you do it anyways, knowing that you will be better for it. It’s who you are. You know no other way to live, except wild in all directions spherically.
At least you tried for something. You feel like these times in your life you’re back where you started. These were not times when something was wrong. Rather, you tried for something great, for something your heart desired. You go for it and seemingly fail because the outcome was different than you expected. You realize that these were not failures at all. And during those times you might not have gone as far as you wanted to, but you still had deeply satisfying moments, when you knew you were exactly where you were meant to be, and your soul was happy. The journey was worth it. So, your willingness to try things isn’t what needs to change, it’s the story you tell yourself.
Don’t be afraid to experience life, take chances, and see where it leads. You might come away with some bruises, dirt, and maybe even a heavy heart. But don’t let that stop you from getting back in the arena and going again. Because even though you’re taking a risk at failing, along the way you will also feel deeper, have more adventures, create new connections, and maybe have some really good stories to tell. Hopefully you will get there, to the dream in your soul. But, at least along the way you can experience moments of pure bliss. It might not end the way you want, but you still got to experience flashes of Heaven along the way. Life is made up of these moments, the little miracles experienced on the journey. So, live spherically in all directions and then go for it! And if you’re already out there doing it, then see you in the arena.