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The Failed Flip

by bevbarnes on October 25, 2012

When I was 8 years old in gym class my teacher needed someone to demonstrate a flip.  I knew she was going to pick me.  I was the smallest, lightest kid in the class.

I was terrified of doing a flip.  I wasn’t acrobatic.  I was a super-chicken by nature.  My teacher saw me as a light kid that would be easy to “spot” while she was doing the demo.  I saw myself jumping off the spring board but I couldn’t imagine myself doing a rotation in the air.


My biggest fear was that I couldn’t do it.  I remember trying to run it through my mind, imagining how my body would feel rotating in the air.  But I couldn’t see it.  I couldn’t feel it.  So as my teacher asked me to volunteer and I said ‘yes’, I felt like I was walking the plank to certain death.

Funny – at the moment of the attempted flip I felt no fear.  All my fear was before I did it.

Then I landed flat on my back.  I don’t even know if I rotated in the air.  No one had video phone cameras in those days.

I remember time moving very slowly.  Everyone in the class was running over with stunned, surprised faces.  As I was lying on the ground it felt like I had hours to decide how I would react – but it was only seconds.  I decided to yell ‘Mummy’ to indicate the severity of my fall.

How humiliating.

I’m telling you my failed flip story because there are lessons embedded in this story that are useful no matter what you are trying to accomplish.

1.  You have to WANT to succeed.  To even have a hope of succeeding in doing something that you’ve never done before, you have to WANT to.  Desire trumps ability.  I’m sure there was some heavier kid that had a bigger desire to do a flip than I did and that kid would have succeeded or even if they fell, they would have learned something and tried again.

2.  Don’t do things just because someone else tells you that you should.  As an 8 year old, I never thought I could say no to a teacher.  You aren’t a child anymore; don’t do what you have no desire to do.

3.  If you can’t picture how it feels to do it, then you won’t succeed.  The Law of Attraction works because you imagine how you are going to feel when you are doing the thing you want to do, or you imagine how you’ll feel when you’ve already done have the thing you want to do.   If you can’t get to that state, it probably won’t happen.

4.  Fear is only there before you do the thing not during.  Fear disappears as you do the thing you are afraid of doing.  That’s why the expression ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ became popular.  It’s true!

5.  Ask yourself what is the worst thing that can happen if you fail.  Odds are you won’t end up lying flat on your back and screaming “Mummy!” Minor humiliation, maybe – but nothing life threatening.

I LOVE hearing from you.  What have you tried to do and failed?  When did you do something that you thought you should but didn’t want to?  Share what you’ve learned about fear and failure on the blog!


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna October 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm

I love this Bev. I’m at the beginning stages of starting my coaching practice and my intention is to do it from a place of peace and joy (I know fear will be there with me as well). Reviewing these important ideas has helped me take another step forward. Thank you. Donna


Bev Barnes October 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I’m glad this helped Donna. Congratulations on starting your coaching practice!


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