I was reading Sammie’s latest edition of She’s so inspiring and bam like that I was as always knocked over by the amazing women Sammie has met or crossed paths with in some way through her life. Kylie Travers is this sensational woman who has overcome so much and refuses to allow her past experiences define who she is today (short version!) Long version check out Kylie’s website or the medium version is Sammie’s blog.

Sammie asks the same questions every week and there is always a take home message in there in one of the answers or sometimes more than one take home message! My A-Ha moment reading this morning was in Kylie’s answers to “Words to live by”. Kylie had a few answers here the one that stands out for me is “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” This is me! I am so scared of failure that I get frozen by it. I rarely fail at things not because I am exceptionally wonderful but because typically I limit myself to things that I know I can do and do well. Anything that is outside my little box of skills that I consider to be really good I fear, I freeze and I will come up with every reason why not to do something. 

I have been reading over past journals today and my dear psych who saw me through a lot last year put to me what is success and what is failure. I did some work around this notion of what I consider to be success and failure. You see I have a few books I want to write – yes I know you all know this because I bang on about it all the bloody time, but I don’t actually do anything! I talk about being a writer a lot but honestly apart from the posts here I don’t write anything much. I have it in my head that unless my books are going to make it to the New York Times Bestseller List to be read by millions then why bother? I don’t want anyone else to go through the heartache I put myself through so I want the world to read it. I have written down that it was put to me that just because something is on a best seller list does not mean I would be successful. Because I would move the goal posts in my head. Just as equally just because anything I write doesn’t end up on a best seller list or not read by many does not mean that I am a failure. I may never see the fruits of my work. It is highly unlikely that I would ever know if anything I write makes a difference and I need to be ok with that.

I replied to Sammie that I had recently discovered Kylie (well the truth be told somehow she discovered me) and followed me on twitter at the beginning of July, I am still unsure how she came across me or what was there that made Kylie click follow! I also said I am still really in discovery mode of Kylie but I wish more than anything I could let go of that fear of failure. Sammie replied to me (as she always does she’s totes awesome like that and making you feel special and her only reader!) and said to me “but I won’t fail…not if I try!” That has had me thinking and pondering all day long.

Every time it popped into my head I really thought about it and the only way that I can truthfully fail is to not attempt it in the first place. If I try and if I give it my everything then I haven’t failed. If I do write a book or two or three or whatever, and it gets knocked back or edited beyond the point that I recognise it as my own I haven’t failed it just means that it wasn’t right for now. My words weren’t the right fit. I guess because the stories I want to tell are deeply personal to me. One is not my story at all but a story I have said forever that I would share in a book for a dear friend. That story is one I don’t want to stuff up at all.

The other thought that popped into my head all day after reading this was “what if you fly?” I honestly thought this was from a movie! I can hear someone saying this in my head! I have searched this quote today and it turns out it is from an Australian poet who wrote this when she was 19yrs old! Erin Hanson wow is all I can say. You know you have made it when there are quite honestly thousands of memes using your poem! The full poem is:

the poetic underground

The more I think about it, this rings true. My fear is holding me back because I am thinking and imagining the worst case, what if I do all this work and no-one reads it, or it is complete rubbish or worse still the passion and the emotion doesn’t come through. If this is one side of the coin then the opposite must be true as well.

“What if I fly?” What if it is great, what if it does get read, what if a river of tears are shed because of the connection to the story? This honestly scares me as much. Who is scared of success? Me that is who. So that leaves me stuck in the middle, in limbo. Not falling but most certainly not flying either!

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Kit xoxo 

You can find Sammie on her websiteFacebook and Twitter.

You can find Kylie Travers on her websiteFacebook and Twitter.

You can find Erin Hanson on her website, Facebook.

Linking with Sammie, Karin & Paula to fall down the Ultimate Rabbit hole.

0 Replies to “What if you fly?”

  1. Could I say that you are already a writer? You are writing your blog, honing your skills, observing, listening and learning. Ok, you may not have Hemingway status yet, but I guess he started somewhere too! 🙂

  2. I can relate to this so much! Because what I want to do, and what I’ve wanted to do my whole life, is write books. But I don’t. And I know part of that is fear that they will suck! But I love that poem – “What if you fly?” Thank you so much for sharing that! And for this post!

    1. Thanks Paula, I think sometimes that the fear we will suck is far worse than actually sucking itself does that make sense? I am sure that if we just got on with it, they probably wouldn’t bee half bad! But because we are held back by fear we will never know. I think we need to start a writing circle to encourage each other to get on with it!

  3. I would travel… and take the family too and just uproot ourselves and go… we won’t just at the moment, too many kids needing to be places as one has just a year at school… but one day… one days… And yes write different things, more humour. I’m very comfy with what I do most days but don’t go outside the comfort zone.

    1. Sometimes I think we find reasons to put off flying if that makes sense. Not that I am saying school isn’t important and if it is the final year you’ve all come this far may as well see it out. I am just saying I know for me I really want to move I really want to be closer in proximity to my parents but I have all these reasons in my head why we can’t do it. But ultimately it is fear holding me back. Fear has a lot to bloody answer for in my life!

  4. Oh thank you for your lovely words and I’m pleased the interview and that comment resonated with you. Funny enough, I’ve been thinking about your comment a lot this weekend. My uncle who is a double amputee self published his first book in his seventies and then went on to write and publish 3 more. I know he had big dreams about his book being a bestseller and maybe even be made into a movie, but alas it wasn’t to be. However, I don’t for one minute think that he thinks his book is a failure, and I personally as a reader do not consider the book a failure either. I think if he enjoyed writing it and publishing it (which I know he did) and at least one person enjoyed reading it (I know I am one of many,) then it’s a success, don’t you think? I’m telling you about my uncle because his book writing reminds me of you. You see, just by writing your book and putting your faith in yourself, that’s a success in itself! Yes you can, Cathy! Yes, you can! I think it’s about moving those goalposts to not measure failure but to redefine your wins! PS Here’s the link to a post I wrote about my uncle and his book http://www.theannoyedthyroid.com/2013/11/21/my-superman/

    1. I guess Sammie that is the thing isn’t it, just getting on and doing it instead of waiting until it will be perfect. The truth is no-one will know if my stories are any good or not unless I actually get on an write the damn things. If they stay stuck inside my head then they can never possibly see the light of day. Funny thing is I rarely do anything for the accolades I do things from an altruistic perspective in my everyday so I am not sure, perhaps it is all just a big fat excuse to avoid getting it done. To avoid the inevitable judgement so I will do all the judging in my head before it comes out instead of letting others decide for themselves. Righto I am now off to read your piece about your Uncle! PS My Pop was a double amputee!

  5. You’ve probably heard this Winston Churchill quote “success is not final, failure is not fatal, it’s the courage to continue that counts”. You write beautifully. Be guided by what’s important to you and what you value – they are the air in your floaties that help you swim toward your goals. Much love Cathy! (And Sammie is just THE best isn’t she?). Xx

    1. Thanks Sandra that is a lovely compliment about my writing. Being stuck in bed might give me some clear air the write. Well that is if the tears stop flowing from the pain of the flu you know how when they just fall out when you have the flu. For the record you are also a beautiful writer! xoxo

  6. This is such a common fear, and just so unnecessary! (thought that doesn’t stop me feeling it too)You are already writing, and i believe failure is in not trying. So long as you are trying you are succeeding. PS I love the changes you have made to your blog. xx

    1. Thanks Nicole! I was playing around so that it made more sense to me! I hope that means it makes more sense to others and easier to find things too xoxo PS You are so right the only real failure is not trying in the first place.

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