Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the twenty-something version of me.  She wasn’t afraid to try new things with no guarantee of success.  She went white water rafting, backpacking through Europe, flew up north to work with people she’d never met and applied to medical school.  She wasn’t afraid to fail.

Somewhere along the way, my identity shifted.  As I became more accomplished and skilled at the things I did, I became less willing to risk failure.  I became afraid to try things I didn’t think I could be good at.

And the result of this thinking was that my world got smaller and more insular.  I was friends with people whose lives looked similar to mine.  I occupied myself with goals that I knew I could succeed at.  I took on challenges that felt safe to me.

But now I’ve learned something I want to share with you.  Wildly successful people have something in common.  It’s not IQ.  It’s not education. 

It is the willingness to fail. 

This is the difference between those who achieve big dreams and live a big bold life, and those who don’t.

Failure is the cutting edge of personal growth.  And I believe pursuing growth is our life’s purpose.

We are meant to do the things that scare us.  This is exactly what creates a fulfilling life.  We are meant to pursue big dreams and big goals.  Not for the goals themselves, but because of who we will become in the pursuit of those dreams.

And it’s much more fun to live your life this way.

So ask yourself this:  “What would I be doing now if I weren’t afraid to fail?”  

Start with something small.  Maybe you want to learn how to play pickleball, but you’ve never been good at sports.  Sign up for a class anyway.  

Here’s the truth:  you will 100 percent fail at pickleball if you never even try.  It’s a way of failing yourself ahead of time.  

So go play pickleball and be willing to suck at it.  Laugh at yourself, have fun.  And grow as a result.

If you’re having trouble figuring out where fear of failure is limiting you in your life, I can help.

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