Leap of Faith February 12 2015, 1 Comment

He sat with the book in front of him, a blank stare washed over his face.  He didn’t know the words and was hesitant to try.  He read what he could and attempted to sound out the rest.  He was nervous.

Reading had not come easily for him, and over time, a vicious cycle set in.  He’d try, he wouldn’t get it. He began to try less and less because he started to question the point of trying to begin with.

He had a superb team at school overseeing his progress.  They were encouraging.   They knew he felt intimidated and were sensitive to this.  One day I had a conference with his reading specialist who explained that with Brooks, the core issue was not ability but confidence.   She had witnessed his breakthroughs and she knew there were more to come.  My challenge as a mother would be to  encourage him to read without being afraid of making mistakes.

I reminded him that there was no shame in pronouncing a word incorrectly.  There was no failing.  Although in his head and heart, mispronunciations were indeed failing.  But we encouraged him to keep  trying.

And then at some point, it clicked.

Today, my son is an honor roll student and an avid reader.  It’s not unusual for him to read two books at a time, designating one for the school bus and one for home.

What turned the situation around was Brooks’ comfort level with the notion of failure.  Making mistakes became ok.  He let go of the fear and took a leap, willing to accept whatever outcome resulted of his efforts.

Failure.  It’s one of the ugliest words in our language.   We put so many stigmas on the notion of failing. Why, in a culture where our unofficial anthem is “Failure is not an option,” would anyone try achieve anything where positive results were less than foolproof?

But what if failing was not the worst thing in the world?  What if we all accepted failure as part of the cycle of living, without the negative connotations? 

Imagine the risks we’d take.

Most of us live with some level of fear when it comes to failure.  But have you ever sat down and asked yourself what fear has cost you?  Have you ever considered the consequences for both trying and not trying something new?  Chances are…the consequences for not trying at all would be much greater.

I love hearing stories about leaps of faith, stories about people who listened to their hearts and followed them, even with the possibility of betraying reason, popular opinion, or facing failure.  

To celebrate you and the amazing risks you have taken, HCGC is calling for submissions for your “Leap of Faith” story.

What is it that scared you that you tried anyway?  Maybe you started a job in a new field, returned to school, opened a new business, left a relationship, started a relationship, took on a hobby, took a trip, ran your first 5K, moved to a new place, learned a new language, spoke in front of a large audience for the first time. Whatever the leap, we want to hear it, honor it, and share it, with the intention of inspiring others. 

Maybe you succeeded with your leap.  Maybe you failed.  My guess is that regardless of the outcome, you are wiser and bolder for trying.  Maybe, in time, the failed leap was what led you to what was truly "meant to be," although you had no way of knowing it then. 

We can inspire each other.  We can make each other feel braver when we see that someone has gone before us. The notion of failure seems a little less scary, standing together.

I absolutely can not wait to hear your stories. 

Love to all,

Ilene Evans

 

*If you have a leap of faith story that you would like us to share with our readers, via our blog and social media platforms, please submit your idea to Ilene@hippiechick-granola.com .   For ideas that are accepted, entrants will be asked to submit a final draft story of 700 words or less, accompanied with photos for our use.  We are accepting submissions now through April 1, 2015. We can't wait to hear what you have to say  Many, many thanks!