Tuesday, April 22, 2014


"I can't do it!" he said with tears in his eyes and frustration written all over his sweet face. "Just because you haven't done it yet, does not mean you can't do it, honey. Try again. You'll be able to do it eventually." He was able to complete his task on the very next try. It's not always like that, though. Sometimes we try, and try, and try some more only to fall over and over again feeling depleted and stonewalled.

I've really struggled with this as an adult. I often find trying new things very intimidating. I have this constant nagging doubt in the back of my head that I'll do poorly; I'm afraid that I will fail. It has stopped me more times than I care to admit from going through with something, finishing a project, or learning something new. The fear of failing has stolen too many of my opportunities.

There is nothing else like having children that has caused me to see my own characteristics with a clearer more magnified panorama. Suddenly those qualities about myself that didn't appear so important seem to hold a lot more weight. After all, these little people look up to me, and although I know intellectually that I will never be perfect I have a renewed interest in at least trying harder.

A couple days ago I decided to attempt something I'd never tried before, because frankly I have been terrified of it. I made the trek to JoAnn Fabrics and picked up a pattern for a dress for my 3 year old. I had bought fabric with a different purpose in mind a couple months ago. The fabric was sitting unused in a closet.

I brought the pattern home and decided to start that night. No waiting, no thinking.

There was quite a bit of trial and error being my first attempt at sewing a dress. Despite the fact that the pattern was labeled "easy" I had to redo a lot of steps. I definitely had some moments of frustration - particularly when I had to rip seams, forgot notches, and *almost* sewed the sleeves on wrong! However, it started to come together.

Bit, by bit.

And then, I finished it at 2:30am on Easter Day.

Just because I'd never made a dress before didn't mean I couldn't.

Then, she wore it.

The word failure is always synonymous with success. If you never fail, then you will never accomplish anything. Nobody gets everything right the first time. It's only through exertion and struggle that you come out on the other side.

Failure is not final. It doesn't matter if I have failed 100 times, success can happen at number 101. The fear of what other people think, or the fear of being mediocre shouldn't hold me back. This is a lesson that I'm learning slowly, but surely. Attempting things I've never tried before and not being afraid to look silly, or get my hands dirty as I stumble and fail will only serve me well. I will never be the person I desire to be if I don't try.

Making a dress may not seem like that big of a deal, but for someone who is learning to take one step at a time in the direction of success, it was a pretty awesome win.

"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline."   
-2 Timothy 1:7
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  1. That dress looks gorgeous - and it doesn't look like a very 'easy' pattern to me. So glad you gave it a go and finished it. Hope you'll dive into lots more sewing after this success. And thank you very much for taking the time to come and have a look at my place earlier and for commenting - I love finding new blogs that way!

    1. You just made my day! Thank you so much for commenting back! I loved seeing all your projects. I'm always inspired by other people's ideas and projects. I also am so thankful for your encouragement. I was really excited when the dress ended up actually looking like a dress!

  2. That dress is amazing! I totally know what you mean about fear of failure. It's so grown up of you to persevere.

  3. Great job! I struggle with reading patterns. So I know the struggle. It's like reading a foreign language. Frustrating.

  4. I had to laugh at the irony because one of the things that gets me to that tantrum "I can't!!" place is trying to sew! Ha! Thanks for the inspiration to keep trying again!!

  5. This is a great topic because we know that KIDS shouldn't worry about failing but ADULTS do it too (and we shouldn't!) It's so funny to me that the thing you focus on in this post is sewing & using a pattern because I actually bought my first pattern months ago and have yet to open it up for fear of failing!! Thanks for the motivation! XO


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