Do You Think It’s Good When I Fall?

I overhead the middle of a conversation my husband and daughter was having as he started buckling her into her car seat. She said, “Well, do you think it’s good when I fall?” I’m really not even sure of the context; I am assuming they were talking about jumping because my daughter is constantly testing the jumping skills that she got from her dad.  His answer, though, couldn’t have been more perfect. Without skipping a beat, he said, “yes, because that probably means you were trying something hard”.

The day before my four-year-old asked if I thought she could jump from one queen bed to the other in the hotel room we were staying in. The beds were further apart than normal in a hotel and though I internally questioned if she should do it, I encouraged her to try, knowing that even if she didn’t make it, the risk of being hurt was very low. She didn’t make it and her body quickly took shape of the outline of the bed. She turned and yelled at me, “why would you tell me to try it if I wouldn’t be able to make it?”

I calmly answered, “how would you know you capable or not if you don’t try?” Of course, due to natural consequences, I don’t always encourage trying even if failure is a possibility, but we certainly can’t let the fear of failure dictate all of our decisions. I want my daughter to learn that when she tries something that doesn’t work out how she wanted it to, it does not mean that it was a failure. A ‘failed experiment’ still gives you valuable information. It dictates your predictions and guidelines for your next experiment and gives you an understanding that you didn’t previously have. The same is true for real life.

Those lessons of ‘failure’ stick with you. The only questions I remember from my Physical Therapy Certification Exam are the ones I battled with for too long-and got wrong. They taught me a lesson that I did not know already, but one I needed to learn.

I share this story with you to encourage you to push your fears aside and try something hard when (safe) discomfort or ‘failure’ is a possibility. I’m blessed with the privilege to guide many patients and/or clients back to something they gave up because of an injury. The process is scary for them. Fear creeps in when I push them out of their comfort zone.  I know they have prepared and put in the work necessary to achieve the goal, but it’s up to them to embrace it once again.

Is there something you gave up that you want back? Take baby steps in that direction to see what fear moves out of your way and what possibility returns.

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Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on

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