This week I've been thinking a lot about regret, failure, and taking risks thanks to this Brene Brown podcast, the Olympics, and J.Lo's new movie, Marry Me.
What do Mikaela Shiffron and J.Lo have in common? They live courageously.
If you've been watching the Olympics at all, then I'm sure you're aware of Mikaela Shiffrin's story. She is arguably the best skier in American history and was poised to medal in 5 events, but instead she fell in 3 of the 5 events, taking her out of those races, and was off the podium in the other two. This was almost a worst case scenario for Mikaela. I can't imagine the disappointment she must have felt. The picture that sticks in my head is Mikaela sitting on the mountain for 20+ minutes after skiing out of her second event in a row after a mere 5 seconds on the course and her interview thereafter (this is also an interview worth watching). As any athlete knows, sports reveal our vulnerability. You have to really put it out there if you want compete at a high level. And she did. She really put it out there. And that is what is inspiring. It's not just seeing someone get the gold medal - it's seeing someone leave it all out there. These races won't define her, but they will become part of her and they will make her stronger. Success and failure is part of the deal when you put yourself out there to do something big.
Meanwhile, I went to see Jennifer Lopez's new movie, Marry Me this week (it was cute - cheesy, but cute) and it had me thinking about why I love her so much. At 52 years old, J.Lo has suffered more public humiliation from her failed relationships than the average celebrity over the past couple of decades. She has been divorced three times and had two broken engagements. That is a lot of heartbreak. Unless you live under a rock, you know that she has recently rekindled her relationship with Ben Affleck. Other than it being romantic, why am I so happy for her? I love that she keeps believing. She keeps going after what she wants no matter what other people might be whispering or tweeting about her. Who knows if the relationship with Ben will work. I'm now thinking that's not the point. The point is she's trying. She's putting herself out there because just like in Olympic skiing, success and failure is part of the deal in relationships.
In Brene's podcast she talks about how we regret the things we don't do far more than the things we do. In other words, we regret not going for it - not putting ourselves out there. So even though you and I are probably not training for the Olympics any time soon, I'm thinking about what those things might be for me. Maybe it's going to that dance class even though I'll probably look like an idiot. What is it for you? Maybe it's booking the flight, asking out your crush, going back to school, writing the book. Just something I'm thinking about.