Allow Your Self to Fail

I have constant fear when it comes to learning new things.

I remember seeing Photoshop for the first time in a art studio I resided for a year. I thought it was fantastic that you can create art, colour your illustrations.

And I was deathly afraid of it.

I saw my other friends that were more talented than I in that area. They just sat down and seemingly got it, making coloured illustration and coloured illustration.

Whenever I had to something in colour back then, I always asked them to help me out. And this went on for months.

It was when I got a project from a client to illustrate a cartoon tiger I was put on the spotlight. I had to do them all.

And so I did. I scanned the images I drew. I wearily got into Photoshop. I struggled with each of the opinions. I think I asked my Photoshop adept friends for some advice, but I can’t remember… ah… I asked about how to use the lasso and which brushes they used to colour their images.

Surely enough, with my mistakes, I finished my first illustrated image.

Later in life, I found that if my fear or confidence was strong enough for me to act to do something, I would let that override anything that would’ve stopped me then.

In my English institute, I saw the need to make booklets for students to practice their vocabulary and be tested. The first method was crude: print all the materials and bind them. The margins were all over the place, some of the text was in the wrong place, no page numbers.

This drove me nuts. I felt I could do something about this. And so I did.

I went through and edited all the files. I got them in the proper margins. I took the documents and images and combined them into a singular file and then printed them.

The first booklet was made.

Later, I upgraded the covers. I expanded the vocabulary practice. Incremental changes made every month, then 2 months when we realize the students needed more time to absorb the material.

All in all 54 booklets produced so far. And I was shocked and astounded.

Why can I do this with all parts of my life? Why can’t I take the failures of life, learn from them, and go at it again? Why can’t I face the fears of failure and uncertainty of a project and run at it without a care in the world?

I did do this many times when I felt that it was the only thing I can do better. I did it because I felt, in my mind, the consequences of not doing it.

There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.
– John F. Kennedy

I say to myself and others, if there is an opportunity, a tool, a project, an endeavor, or a hobby that you have been meaning to do, but was afraid of doing so, I ask you why?

Is it the time or the lack of it? Time is going to pass anyway. We don’t know when God or death will call us. Life is like grass in the field and one day thrown in the fire.

Is it because of fear? Do it while you’re able to. See it in your face and go for it.

Is it because of failure? Hey, if that failure doesn’t kill you, that means you can learn from it. Failure is a great teacher if you let it.

Is it a lack of knowledge? That’s great! If you can read this, you got access to the Internet, one of the greatest resources in front of us since the public library. Use the Internet. Go to YouTube, Khan Academy, Udemy. Ask your friends in Facebook. Tweet questions and #hashtag the thing you want to learn. You can learn almost anything know. You can find people that can help you.

Please. Be curious. Create something that interests you. Start small. Use the fear and frustration to build you. Cultivate the belief that anything’s possible and definitely doable. Allow yourself to fail, learn, and act on how you can be better.

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