>I recently came across 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind. I was very intrigued by the questions and decided to make answering them one of the goals on my current 101 in 1001 list. I’m going to try to answer one question a week. You can find the other answers I’ve written so far here
2. Which is worse failing or never trying?
Failure isn’t important. What’s worse here is not trying to do something for fear of failure. That’s the short answer – you have to try. If you don’t try you automatically fail and you do so worse than if you try and it doesn’t work out
Many times in my life I’ve been told I won’t be able to do X or I can’t do Y. Because I’m disabled. I’m different to everyone else and obviously a girl in a wheelchair couldn’t do what everyone else is doing. And obviously the people saying no couldn’t help but no better about my limitations than me. And obviously they couldn’t possible adapt things.
A lot of these are things that I’ve then gone and found a way. I might not have managed it all, it might have taken a lot of help and it might not have been the best ever but I did it in some way shape or form – my way.
Sometimes it’s gone very wrong and I’ve regretted all or part of it – my trip to Madrid a couple of years ago is a bit like that. I tried it, I loved it and it mostly worked but with two falls in the three and a half days I was there (one of which left me sore for days and necessitated an ambulance being called although I thankfully avoided the trip to hospital) it’s very obvious that I should have looked further into access and adaptations so I could have avoided some of the problems. I regret that part but I don’t regret the trip. Looking back now if someone said “hey we’ll back it so you didn’t lose control and flip your chair and land on your face and crack a tooth and have blood gushing from both sides of your nose and a black eye BUT it’ll mean you don’t go on the trip to Madrid at all” would I take them up on that offer? No because the first fall was one of those incidental ones that have no effects and yes I have bad memories of the second and all that surrounded it but I have great memories of the rest of the trip and I had fun – even after that accident. You’ve gotta take the good with the bad as they say.
Occasionally when people say I can’t do something and I think I can they will stop me from trying. That is so, so frustrating. It can turn out to be the right thing however – the time at uni I was sure there was a way I could try ice skating and my support worker basically said “no way you’ll break your arm” was definitely one of those times. I’m equally sure that there are times when that was probably the wrong decision – but I’ll never actually know for sure!
On The Great British Bake Off recently one of the contestants was saying that she tells children (I think she’s a teacher of some sort?) that they can’t all be THE best but they can all try THEIR best.
If I try something and I fail I at least know I’ve done my best and given it a go. If I refuse to try I’ve not done my best, I’ve not done anything. And that contestant on the Great British Bake Off was right – you should try your best whenever possible.
Besides, as someone who grew up with a disability and who will be disabled all her life – if I didn’t try and fight like I do I wouldn’t be half an independant as I am now – or have done anything like everything I have. Yes, failure sucks. But trying is what matters.