I Believe in Trying

Jordan - Fishers, Indiana
Entered on December 10, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe…

I believe that trying and failing is better than not trying at all. Hiding behind your mistakes is one of the worst things you can do to yourself, and it only inhibits you from doing great things with your life. I think failure scares us off, making us live within the limits and forget all the risks that we could have taken. In my opinion, everyone has something that they want to try, but the fear of failing overrides their desire.

I was absolutely fearless in 7th grade, trying new things and doing things then that I couldn’t imagine doing now as an adult. I was in the choir, always getting solos and speaking parts, not thinking twice about being up in front of a large audience in the drafty auditorium of my junior high. It was only in the spring of 2003 that this changed forever. I got a speaking part in one of the songs, and like always, I would walk down the bleachers to the microphone and nonchalantly give my solo. However, as I was walking towards the microphone this time, my heart started beating quickly and sweat trickled coldly down my neck; I didn’t feel right, but here I was, looking out over this crowd of people awaiting my solo. I stepped up cautiously and opened my mouth. To my surprise, nothing came out. My teacher looked at me with furrowed eyebrows, trying to get something, anything, out of me. I stared straight ahead, my cheeks burning in embarrassment, and I mumbled an awkward “sorry.” I returned to my spot on the bleachers, holding back tears as the concert went on.

For a whole year after that, I was scared to talk in front of even a small group of people I didn’t know. My anxiety kicked in, and I shied away from every opportunity to speak. By this time I was an 8th grader and the spring concert was coming up; auditions for solos were here once again. For some reason, I felt an urge to try out; I even surprised myself as I went into the small, boxy room where the teacher was holding try –outs. I sang to the best of my ability and got the solo. It didn’t hit me right away, but when it did, I was beyond nervous. I scribbled the lyrics on my hand a few minutes before show time, and took many deep breaths. This was it. As the song began, I stepped up to the microphone once again. I looked out over the crowd and sang. I didn’t miss a beat, and the crowd clapped as I took my place with the rest of the choir. I smiled to myself, knowing I had just overcome a huge fear.

It has been many years since that lesson in my life, but I am still learning today. I am willing to try new things, even if they make me feel uncomfortable, and I believe that failure shouldn’t hold anyone back.