Freedom to fail



Many years ago my sister said to me that she admired the way I gave myself “the freedom to fail.” I had  never heard of that sentence before and I was taken aback, I questioned whether that was a good trait to have or not? I mulled it over for a few days and began to embrace it, I even stamped myself a charm with the words, freedom to fail. Ironicallythe words were wonky but I didn’t mind. And that’s when it dawned on me and it all began to make sense. I have always given myself the freedom to fail, I have never been a perfectionist, always impatient, so nothing has ever held me back from the desire to  just giving it a go, whatever it might have been.


So often we hold ourselves back by believing that everything should be perfect before we commence any particular journey. A few years ago when I had my craft shop a lady came in one day and admired my crocheted blanket. I thanked her and explained that there were definitely errors in the crochet. She replied by telling me that she was glad to hear that and that nothing should be perfect except for Allah. She went on to tell me that there is a deliberate error in every Turkish rug that is made, usually in the weaving rather than in the dyeing of the yarns, as to make it perfectly would be offensive to Allah.


I love that story and I’ve told it many times in my workshops and classes to boost the confidence of the attendees who often come thinking that they are rubbish at anything creative. This is usually a hang-up from school days when their art teacher or needlework teacher criticise their work. People found it liberating and it allowed them to enjoy the process of creating something of their own and helped them to understand that being creative is as much about the journey as the finished item.


We never know for sure how anything will turn out, but if we shy away from ever trying then we will not be fulfilling our life’s potential and are missing out on the joy down which that particular avenue may have brought us. I have long ago lost count of the number of times when I have tried and failed at something. From a marriage to learning to run at 50+, through dressmaking and baking, business ideas and holiday destinations, so many have failed in the true sense of the word but along the way I have learned many lessons and gained so much knowledge.  I now have a happy marriage of over 25 years and I make a cracking lemon drizzle cake, but admittedly I still can’t run and my dressmaking is definitely a bit dodgy.


I really encourage you to take the plunge and try whatever it is you’re hesitating over (providing that it’s safe of course). Whether it is signing up for a 5K, finally selling all your old clothes on eBay, starting out on a new career or taking a year off to go travelling. Jump in with both feet, don’t give yourself the chance to talk yourself out of it. If it doesn’t work out so be it you will learn so much along the way and if it does work out, fantastic, the perfect result. Make this year the one that liberates you by giving yourself the freedom to fail and you never know, you might turn out to be braver than you knew!

Older Post Newer Post

  • Pat on

    Thanks Katrina, I found that very reassuring and inspirational. I try hard, and so want to be creative and do things well that I can admire. Sadly I am always disappointed and aware of how far short I am from my aspiration. But my lack of ability never stops me trying, or enjoying the journey, so it’s good to know that it really is ok to fail (sometimes )☺️

Leave a comment