The Seven Stones Blog

The Dynamics of Enough and Failure

By Sue Richardson

fail (feyl)  to fall short of success or achievement in something expected,

attempted, desired, or approved (from


It doesn’t take us long to develop a comfort zone. Our comfort zone contains those areas where we are reasonably confident we’ll succeed—whatever that means to us. Even as kids we have one and that’s during the time of our lives when we are the most willing to fail. Stepping outside our comfort zone opens up the possibility that we will fail. For some of us that possibility can be so daunting that it prevents us from ever taking that step, which can leave us struggling to accept a legacy that is less than we dream for ourselves. For others, we take the step with so little conviction that we don’t fully bring ourselves into the new space, keeping ourselves in a permanent balancing act between growing and keeping safe, while never really experiencing either.

Why is it so daunting? Why does it feel so risky to attempt, desire, expect or shoot for some approved standard, knowing you might fail? I assert it’s because many of us think that if we fail at something that it proves that we are not enough! When we do fail at something there may be skills to be attained or further developed, practices to create and integrate, or something to discern, but it doesn’t mean anything about our fundamental value. If you are preparing a recipe that calls for 1 cup of water and you currently have ¾ of a cup of water, you don’t have enough water. It doesn’t measure up to standard, right? The difference between us and the water is the water doesn’t experience that somehow it isn’t enough.

If failing at something you wanted did not mean you were not enough, what would you attempt?

(p.s.: it doesn’t mean you aren’t enough, so will you attempt that?)


One thought on “The Dynamics of Enough and Failure

  1. Thanks so much for this brilliant post. As a recovering perfectionist, your writing summarizes something I consistently struggle with. Thank you for the gentle reminder of my enoughness as I stretch outside my comfort zone more and more.

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