Throughout our lives we are taught to fear failure. School is a particular example of this – there is a right answer and a wrong answer, rewards and demerits are tangible and public. We are taught that it is bad to be bad, or even average. We are taught that we must play to our strengths.
Every journey begins with a first step
The problem with this view is that we end up deeply rooted within our comfort zones and unable to grow. New research into neuroplasticity is uncovering the exciting ability we all have to physically mould our brains, to feed and nourish them like a plant stretching its limbs in many directions. By embracing our weaknesses and working on them we also embrace the full potential of our selves.
Every Thursday morning I walk ten blocks to my piano teacher’s house and play a beautiful instrument very poorly. My fingers are clumsy and my brain seems to forget how to communicate with my hands. But every week when I leave my lesson I feel alive, challenged and deeply humbled.
John C Maxwell said that “growth demands a temporary surrender of security.” As a child, most things are new. As an adult, we do the things we are already familiar with. It takes courage to suck at something, and then to pick yourself up and try it again. It is also deeply fulfilling to tackle head-on the things you’ve always wanted to do and learn, and to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.
I really enjoyed this article! I hate to feel I have 'failed' and tend to avoid the stuff I suck at. However, a few times I have really put effort into something I am bad at and have stuck with it and been so happy with the result. An example was a subject similar to statistics I had to do at uni. My strength is in the literary subjects. At first I couldn't even understand the questions for the assignment! I wanted to cry (but I didn't). I stuck at it. I asked others, I read extra books and in the end understood it. I was even able to explain things to other students and I felt it was a greater achievement than when I succeeded in the subjects that came easily.
I am so excited about the new directions science is taking, particularly in the area of neuroplasticity. It is changing the way we see ourselves and yet another example of how science is finally catching up with what the spiritual Masters have known for Millennia.