Three weeks ago as I left the local pool with my daughter, she announced with absolute certainty that this year she was going to win the under 9, 50m freestyle race at her school swimming carnival. She then explained her training strategy.
I was struck by her confidence and determination and wasn’t surprised when two weeks later she did exactly that and qualified to compete at the district level. In a bigger pond however my charming little fish didn’t fare so well and her look of total despondency was sheer pain to experience.
I reflected that, like me she strives to do her best. We both make action plans to accomplish our goals and navigate obstacles that stand in our way. But sometimes this isn’t enough. Sometimes our best efforts still mean we fail to achieve what we want.
Despite this, and I’m sure you’d feel the same about anyone you love who strives and ‘fails’, I could not feel prouder of her. What she reminded me of, was that it’s in the doing, in taking a risk and putting your pride on the line, that true courage lies, not in the result.
So, if you have been holding back from a challenge – perhaps to pick up a paintbrush or explore your creativity in some other way – I urge you, grasp hold of your courage, put faith in yourself and the support of people that care and take the plunge. As you do, try not to hold onto the outcome. Don’t judge or compare yourself or your efforts to anyone else’s. Just do what you do…and trust to the truth of it.