For the last few years we have been trying to teach our Lexi how to ride a bike. Technically, she could do it. She’d warble down the street a bit but she had zero interest in continuing. Interest wasn’t lacking. She just couldn’t stand that she wasn’t proficient enough to zoom past everyone and stay at the front of the bike line. She is a bit competitive, that one.
So she just decided riding wasn’t for her. Usually Scott would take Emma out to ride and I’d stay in with Lexi. Or, when Emma really wanted both me and Scott to go, Lexi would whiz around on her scooter. In Hilton Head this summer, Emma and her cousin rode their bike to the pool and she walked.
Last month, it was one of those days we were all out. I was leaving the driveway on my bike and Lexi was standing with her scooter on the road looking further up the road as Scott and Emma had taken off. I could see her squished face and she might have huffed. I knew she couldn’t stand that she was being left behind.
So I said, “Lexi, just go get your bike.” I always encourage her to practice when we’re out but she always gives me an insistent “No!” So it shocked me when she began marching down the driveway with some serious intent towards the garage. Out she came with her bike and I started yelling “Scott! Scott!”
Well, sure enough, Scott ran with her for a few seconds, let go and she just did it. When she got off and realized she really could do it, she couldn’t wipe the smile off her face.
For the next few days, all she wanted to do was go ride bikes which was just really weird hearing after years of hearing how much she hated bike riding.
Within two days, we had taught her how to take off on her own, how to stop and how to make a turn so she could keep riding at the end of the road. And yes, as much as possible she made sure she was at the front of the line.
I’ve been thinking about Lexi and her bike.
I realized that what kept her from starting was the fear of failure. She wanted to be first. We laugh, but how many times do we give up before we even start because we’re afraid to fail? But, even more interesting, she decided to go for it when she finally realized by not even trying, she was missing out all together.
I realized this weekend at Allume, I have this same issue with blogging. I admit it’s hard to see people that have been blogging for much less time be much more successful. It’s not that I don’t celebrate their success–I’m so happy for them.
But as for me and my blog, part of me just wants to give up and leave it to the folks that clearly know better what they’re doing. But I remind myself the joy is in the doing, the writing or riding as it were, regardless of what place or rank I’m placed in. Just as I wanted to shout at Lexi to just get up and ride because it’s FUN, I have to shout at myself, Amy, JUST WRITE. IT’S FUN, remember?!
And it is with that renewed sense of joy I came back from Allume and sit typing. I want to reject the idea that I need to be first. Reject that idea that sitting out is better. I accept that I do it because success is not in numbers. It brings me joy and that’s enough.
What are you holding back from doing for fear of failure? What do you need to just DO for the joy of it?