Monday, January 04, 2010

without the fear of failure

without the option of failure
This quote hangs prominently in my office. I pass by it everyday. I love the thought and often find myself referring to it when speaking with my students. But, for some reason, I've never 'taken the time' to answer this question for myself.

Why not? I think...I think...it is a combination of a few things. I'm lazy. I lack confidence [as much as I hate to admit it]. I don't want to set myself up for, well, failure.

However, today I find myself at a threshold---the first Monday--the first full week---of the New Year. If you're rolling your eyes now, please note that I didn't make any resolutions January 1. Good thing too, as I would have broken them by now...most with the New Year's Day pizza and the 20 degree weather I don't have the will-power to face for a morning jog, and the...

This may be the reason I feel comfortable starting fresh today. Also, this is different...it isn't a resolution, just a question. So, 'What would you do [in 2010] if you knew you couldn't fail?' This is what I'll be thinking about today...this year. I encourage you to do the same. I'll try to be courageous enough to get back to you with my thoughts and, as always, I'd be truly honored for you to share yours.

32 comments:

David said...

I would stop fearing the unknown and I would accept that what will happen, will happen, in its own time and at its own pace. I find myself a little blue this morning because I truly felt that the new year would mean new things, but in reality, it's just another day. So today, I have to take charge of my own happiness and accept that I can change only the things I can change. Thanks for inspiring me to write this. Hope your Christmas was great and know your New Year will be too...

David

Chey Shelton said...

I would marry the man of my dreams, even though our Happily Ever After started at "hello".

please sir said...

What a great quote to ponder and look at each day. Also a very hard question! I would attempt to be fufilled. There are so many things that hold me back from happiness and dreams. I would erase the fear, lack of confidence and the constant questioning of myself.

Melissa said...

Well, first of all, I love that there is a vintage pattern tacked up on your board. Do you draft? (I really, really need to learn how to do that the "real" way, as opposed to "my" way) My main resolution this year-- be happier. There are so many things that I let get in the way of that, most of which I have control over. So if I follow your quote and my resolution it should be a pretty good year...and do show your house. I am such a voyer when it comes to other people's house.

Joan Y said...

I'd learn to dance. Not that Electric Slide stuff ... but those Latin dances, bachata, salsa ... those. I have three left feet and embarrassingly uncoordinated and am insanely jealous of the people that can move their bodies in the most coordinated, rhythmic, and utterly beautiful ways. I try to dance like no one is watching ... but when I do ... all eyes turn toward me!

Sheri said...

If I knew I could not fail, I would write a children's book. It's something I've always wanted to do, but the negative voice in my head always stops me.

Then I would contact you to illustrate it because you are enormously talented. If I had your drawing skills, I would have a ginormous ego. :)

suzanne cabrera said...

David--thank you for sharing. I know this feeling too...

Chey--And lets hope it isn't too long before it is possible for you to marry the man of your dreams in NC.

Diana--'To be happy and to know it is to be twice blessed.' A goal we should all have.

Melissa--I do draft, in fact I teach drafting. Can't say I love it though. I've always had a hard time staying in the lines :0

Joan--I'm a proud member of the three left feet club too!

Sheri--You're too nice...and believe me, my dream is close to yours and I too hear that negative voice all the time.

andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

That's funny. I've been thinking 'bout this stuff all day. I would love to share, but I'm going to have to pluck up the courage first....

cindy said...

i would no longer work on marketing for people who don't believe in marketing. i need to do something about it, but it is scary even though intellectually i realize i shouldn't be scared. you shouldn't be scared, either. i'm going to be working on this in 2010. a change is in order one way or another. i'd love to change my mindset though because i can take that with me wherever i go.

pve design said...

I do not think in terms of failure, but in terms of doing the best I can. But, if I were to set myself up for failure then I think I would probably take it as a sign to do something new, something different.
I guess if we never make mistakes, or fail, we never learn. I tend to think like a child and just be, just enjoy each day! Life is not about perfection! Mistakes or failure can lead to the happiest of inventions.
pve

no way said...

I love this question Suzanne. I'm not sure I can put my goal precisely into words, but I do know that I want to be more motivated/organized/agressive about my artwork-both drawing and photography. My last drawing blog post was the "open house," oh so long ago before our summer sort of fell apart. Things are much better now-the house is great, the baby is born and healthy, and things are back on track. I would like to pull myself back together, shake the dust off my brain (and my drawing blog!) and get out there better than ever.

Does that make sense....? I'm not even sure it does to me, but I'm trying! Your work is always an inspiration to keep on trying!

Laurel Neustadter said...

Wow. That is a great quote. I'll have to think about it. I got a chuckle out of the idea that one might fear failing to answer the question about fearing failure ... I really like that Butterick pattern. Are you doing fashion drawing?

Karen Sandstrom at Pen in Hand said...

That's a wonderful quote. Every time I see it, it makes me think.
My answer is strange. It'll sound like I answered the wrong question. But if I knew I could not fail, I would travel a lot. Fear clips my wings.

Kelley said...

If I knew that I couldn't fail, I would go apply for jobs that are actually fulfilling and interesting.

Queenie Bee said...

I'm a newbie to your site. Thanks for sharing this! I love the quote and it's very apt about how I feel just now. If I knew I could not fail then I would have the balls to promote my new blog; I would draw every day; and I would launch my own PR company. I have been procrastinating about all of this for months! Although blog is up! ;-)

cartoongoddess said...

Great quote. I try to live each day, thinking that I'l succeed at whatever I choose to tackle.

I suppose, however, a better way to to this would be to eliminate the major source of negativity in my life. Perhaps 2010 will be the year for that.

Happy new year Suzanne!

spark! (Ada-Marie) said...

Run a marathon. Love this quote. Happy New Year!

Wendee said...

Love this quote! I have mugs from the people (I think) that make these quote plaques.
I would: commit to travelling, run a marathon, buy a two-piece swimsuit.
We would chuck it all and move to Montana and spend a lot of time hiking, snapping photos and painting.
I would get back to writing and would say the things I want to say.

There.

Love the Butterick pattern, too.

Aris said...

I love thinking what would I try if I would not FALL that gives me tons of ideas. Your questions makes me have to be a bit more thoughtful I guess mine would be to try to get into some local galleries. I feel ready but i just can't get there, but I think I really do it this year!
Thanks for a great question. HAppy NEw Year!!!!! Oh one more thing I would do: I'd sing really loudly, I mean really belt it out while my husband plays the guitar and just feel it!!!

Candied Fabrics said...

I have always had horrible luck/karma/what have you with reolutions.... But I did put an "inclination" out on my blog last year and was overjoyed at the results:
http://www.candiedfabrics.com/2009/12/31/blogging-my-passion/
So I have two inclinations this year, 1) the create MORE art and 2) communicate about my art!

http://www.candiedfabrics.com/2010/01/01/looking-ahead-long-term-goals/
And I'm ON my WAY! WooHoo!

Laura Hamilton said...

i love the idea of forgoing the typical resolutions of the new year!last year was my first without a resolution, instead i chose word to guide me...it was a great experience (much more effective in helping me grow) and i am doing so again this year: my word for 2010=creativity! still, i have never thought of proposing a question instead of resolution...kudos! you should check out this notion of "choosing a guide-word" here:

http://christinekane.com/blog/shout-out-your-word-and-create-your-year-starting-right-now/

enjoy!

MoolyBee said...

For the year of un-failing, 2010, I'd:

Make homemade marshmallows

Create every great idea, or at least write them down.

Finally open my store on etsy, and sell something I have made. (or lots of somethings)

Your drawings make me smile, and I'm pretty sure I have a crush on your office decor (but don't tell).

Happy New Un-Fail Year!

angeltreats said...

I love this quote, I'm really going to have to turn it into some sort of poster for my wall to keep reminding myself.

If I knew I definitely wouldn't fail, I'd take up running again and do another marathon. Unfortunately I know I would fail, because my arthritis just won't let me do it anymore, my joints creak just getting out of the car!

One thing I can't fail at because there is no right or wrong is drawing and painting. I lost my motivation last year around the time we moved away from London, but I'm determined to get it back, and even more so now after reading your post. So thank you :)

The Cowgirl said...

what a tremendous thought...

hmmm, not sure what I would do...perhaps take a stab at writing a book...yes, I that's what I would do...

Cheryl said...

What a marvelous question! How many things do I, on impulse, think wow I'd love to do that! And then...of course...don't.

1. I'd finish that book, finally.
2. I'd move to Paris knowing I;d find a way to get by, in a foreign country, somehow.
3....

la ninja said...

write (for a living?)

Queenie Bee said...

I'm not sure if you still follow the older comments. But I posted on this entry in January saying that I wanted to start an art blog, draw more and launch my own PR business. Well, I have done all three now! And maybe your post helped me a long a little. Would you mind if I used the quote on my site as a blog entry? I will link back and quote you.

suzanne cabrera said...

Oh Queenie Bee---that's so good to hear. Quote away!

Queenie Bee said...

Thank you! It will appear tomorrow!

~tamara said...

This makes me cry to read it and the comments, which tells me how powerful it is. My life has been defined by the restrictions and definitions of others, and I am ready to stretch, grow, and possibly fail. It is not so much the failing but the fear of that first step, whether it land on firm ground or quicksand. I would:
tell someone I've loved for years how I truly feel; I'd write more, laugh more, risk more;and I would have more faith in myself as an artist and a person. Thanks for posing the question and having such a fabulous sketchbook! ~t

newmexicomtngirl.com said...

fly a plane, a little 2 or 4 seater.
peace n abundance
CheyAnne
http://cheyannesexton.etsy.com

Priscilla said...

I think I would train and compete in a triathlon.