When I was a little girl, I’d tell my parents about all of the things I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to be a doctor or a ballerina or a zoologist or an actress (depending on the year), and their response was always the same. They’d tell me I could accomplish anything if I put in the necessary amount of hard work and effort. As I grew up, I started to realize that a lot of people that I met were very talented and worked very hard. Having talent and working hard didn’t make me special, and I started to re-think everything. Suddenly I didn’t want to do anything unless I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was fully prepared and had zero chance of failing. I was in constant preparation mode for tomorrow. Study a bit more, train a bit more, take a few more classes. Tomorrow I’ll be ready. And then a lot of tomorrows passed, and I still didn’t feel ready.
I felt like I needed to adjust my dreams. Everyone in my family knew my goals. What if I failed? What if I failed miserably and everyone knew? What if I worked my entire life training for something, and then I never achieved any sort of success in that field? I shared my frustrations with my mom, and her words were so simple that I had no response. She said, “What if you didn’t fail? What if you achieve everything you’ve ever dreamed about?”
I don’t know how to explain it, but something changed within me that day. I’m not saying that I never have doubts about myself or my future because I do, but my thought process about success and failure is completely different. Now, if I want to do something, I do it. I don’t worry about what others think because when I see friends working toward their dreams, I never think about what level of success they’ve achieved. I just feel so happy and excited that they’re doing something amazing. I admire the courage they have to take a risk and commit to something.
So that’s what I’m doing. Taking little steps toward my dreams, and even though each step has an element of risk, I couldn’t be happier. Sometimes the risks pay off and sometimes they don’t, but it makes me feel alive. In fact, some of my failures have led me to new interests and new dreams that I didn’t even know I had. Life is an interesting process. When you put yourself out there, exciting things start to happen.
If you’re afraid of failure, I encourage you to take a deep breath, gather your courage, and take a tiny baby step in the direction of your dreams. No one is ready for their future. No one is fully prepared. Everyone is just trying their best and hoping that things work out. I can’t promise that you’ll fulfill all of your wildest dreams, but I can guarantee you that you’ll have the adventure of a lifetime through your successes and failures- and you’ll end up right where you need to be.
For more inspirational quotes – including more Amy Poehler quotes, follow my Make It Happen board on Pinterest or check out these posts: 10 Quotes That Showcase The Brilliance of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Say Yes, Do More, And Be Better, and 10 Cheryl Strayed Quotes That Will Change Your Life