Sometimes You Have to Fail in Order to Progress

Sometimes you need to take a hit in order to move forward. A few weeks ago, I booked a trip to Chicago to see a few of my good friends. I was really excited about it and it was the first time I was able to commit to something so far in advance. I had been planning to take a trip out there in the beginning of next year but since one of my friends was having a very belated birthday celebration, I decided to book a flight for the beginning of November instead. As I am sure you all know, reserving a plane ticket requires money/credit card at the time you book the reservation that you will most likely not see again unless you purchase insurance, which I did not.

At the time I booked the trip, I had a little hesitation but thought I would have plenty of time to prepare for this new adventure. I should also mention that since I have been so sick, I barely have left New York. I haven’t been on a plane since I was 11 years old because every vacation my parents planned for us over the years, I ended up being too sick to go so we had to cancel it. My disease kept me home for college also. Participating in Get Your Guts in Gear this past June was really the first time I have been away from home overnight in a while.

As November started getting closer, my mind was filling with doubts and anxieties about the upcoming trip. I was going back and forth about whether or not this was too big a leap for me based on where I was at right now. I didn’t want to disappoint any of my friends or my parents since they knew I planned the trip and were very proud of me for doing so. I was having a really difficult time balancing what I thought was right for me and wanting desperately to see my friends. After a lot of angst, I ended up passing on Chicago this time. My friend Amanda (who I was going to be staying with) and I had a very honest conversation and luckily, we are like two peas in a pod so she understood completely and made it easier for me to do what my instincts were telling me was best for me. When I briefly mentioned that maybe I would plan a time to come out to see her in January/February, her response was that we should let things settle and take one day at a time. She was right; there was no need to put extra pressure on either of us to have a trip booked right now.

At the end of all of this, I had lost the majority of the money I paid for the ticket (which luckily was not that much) and I do feel badly about canceling my plans. But, I do know that I made the right decision for me. I am trying to work on baby steps and working towards smaller goals that I know I can be successful at. That way, as I see I can do well at a lot of little things, it will give me the confidence and courage to take more risks. We always all have to do what is best for us. There is so much in life that is forced upon us, that we have no control over so we all really need to make an enormous effort to not put extra pressure on ourselves. I am trying not to look at this recent situation as failure on my part. I am making a huge effort to look at it as a sign of progression. The fact that I trusted my body enough to take out a credit card and go through with booking a flight shows that I am moving forward. I may not have been ready for it but that doesn’t change the fact that I still thought I could commit to a five day trip a month in advance. I haven’t been able to commit to something a few hours in advance so this was a huge deal for me.

We all need to celebrate the small achievements we make because the more accomplishments we have, the more things we conquer, the more fears we face

… the easier it will be to eventually take that next leap.

  • valerie Starshak


    We will miss seeing you, but you need to always do what you feel is right for you at the time. I think you have mentioned that in previous blogs.

    Listen to yourself and things will work out.

    Love you

  • Jodi

    continue to trust yourself. You have always been successful when you do that!
    I am proud of you for taking control and taking care of yourself.