The quote: Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.
I love quotes. I use them quite a bit and often take some inspiration from them. This quote is kind of a big deal for me and I'll tell you why.
In March of 2012, I left the company where I had worked for close to 23 years. There was a business shift and positions were eliminated. For me it was the right time to step away, recharge my batteries and get ready for the next exciting phase in my life.
I had been doing work that I loved and figured all my talent + experience = a snazzy new job when I was ready. I waited about 2 months to start looking. It took me a while to disconnect and get into a new groove. For the first two weeks I felt guilty leaving the computer...never mind just sitting and watching TV. I had to transition from work mode to not working mode and it was harder than I thought. I did learn to watch TV without guilt eventually.
Finally my search began. I applied to positions that resembled my last job. And I heard back from maybe one. I kept applying. And I kept not hearing much of anything. Sometimes I would go two months without a response. I worked with an outplacement counselor and she helped me figure out how to expand my search. She would tell me ..."Don't be afraid to try - to explore new avenues. Don't be afraid to market your skill set in a new industry." And I did it. I expanded my boundaries. I figured, what do I have to lose?
Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try. And that process continued. It continues still. I search job postings daily and apply when I have a good feeling. I've had some interviews, have met and spoken with some really nice people. My friends have humbled me through their willingness to do whatever they could to help. I have been incredibly blessed with the level of support I have received.
Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try. This process is not for the weak of spirit. It is dehumanizing. I'm a real person without a job. The silence is the worst part. I went to an interview on a morning when we were having a blizzard. It took me three hours to get into Boston - a trip that normally would have taken 40 minutes. The interviewer was not as sharp as I would have expected considering the organization and his level. My career was in his hands and it didn't feel great. And then I heard nothing. Nothing. I went there in a blizzard for goodness sake.
Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try. These words keep me moving forward. I keep applying to positions. I keep networking. I ask for help when I can. I ignore the negative comments from people who have no clue. While I consider each silence a form of failure, I know I cannot stop - I'm more afraid to give up. I know the perfect job and I are very close to finding each other.
Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try. If you are afraid to fail - I say to you - don't be. The moment you stop trying, you have automatically failed. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep moving. Life has a funny way of working out just as it should - have faith.