I went ice skating today! I haven’t been in several years, so I felt a little shaky when I first got on the ice. I figured the odds were that I would fall at least once. Surprisingly, even with people skating in every direction and cutting me off several times, I stayed upright!
My goal before getting on the ice today was to skate without falling, and I achieved my goal! Once I arrived home and started reflecting on my experience, however, that measure of success didn’t feel as satisfying.
On the one hand, I’m thankful that I’m not covered in bruises. On the other hand, I didn’t take any significant risks. I skated forward the entire time, lap after lap, and that is what I have done every time I’ve gone ice skating.
Today, as I glided easily forward on the ice, I longed to be able to do spins or at least skate backwards. I wondered if I could figure out on my own how to do those things, but I was so concerned about falling and feeling ridiculous that I didn’t try.
I erroneously thought that a good skater is one who doesn’t fall, even though I’ve seen hundreds of professional figure skaters on television, and they fall regularly! They fall because they are constantly taking risks and stretching the limits of their skating. They are willing to fall because they know the long-term rewards that come with taking risks and trying something new.
Falling doesn’t mean you’re not good at what you’re doing. It means you’re taking risks in order to grow. [Love it? Tweet it!]
Taking risks becomes easier when you equate success with trying something new, rather than with being perfect while trying something new. The desire to be perfect is what kept me from trying a new trick on the ice today, and it’s what keeps many of us from taking the risks we desire to take in our lives.
In skating and in life, it’s easy to play it safe. Maybe by not taking a risk, you prevent yourself from having bruises – literally or figuratively. You also prevent yourself from enjoying the copious rewards that come with trying something new.
- Take a risk.
- Be okay with falling.
- Success is trying something new.
It’s your turn!
I’d love to know how you find the courage to take risks in your life. What motivates you to keep going and growing? Share your experience in the comments below.
Sending you lots of love!