When I first began renovating my building into a restaurant, I didn't know a thing about renovating. I was apprehensive and awkward. Those early days were pretty basic: I scraped tar. And I failed miserably at even that basic job for my first several months.
Then I took it up a notch: I installed wainscot, caulked trim, and cut ceiling tiles. I ended up wasting dozens of tiles because of my lack of geometry skills. I destroyed countless tubes of caulk because I didn't understand the method, and I broke three caulk guns before I got the hang of it.
Fast forward to today. In the last two weeks at my building, I have:
+Framed in my fourth restaurant bench.
+Purchased, unloaded, mixed, and poured 2,000 lbs of concrete.
+Torn out 460 square feet of a damaged cedar floor and the accompanying nails.
+Torn out 300 square feet of a damaged pine sub-floor and the accompanying staples.
+Purchased, cut, and laid 300 square feet of durock, then screwed it in place with 550 screws.
+Cut and installed 100 feet of plywood, then nailed it to my kitchen walls.
+Framed in another wall.
+Purchased, cut, and toggled to the ceiling 400 square feet of 2"x 4" furring strips so I'll be able to deck my ceiling.
+Moved one ton of quarry tile.
Now, none of this is rocket science, and it's not a remarkable feat. But what gets me is that I'm not apprehensive anymore. I still don't know a thing about renovating, and I still fail everyday, but I'm not uneasy as I start new jobs. Which leads me to one conclusion:
There is no greater way to achieve confidence than by being daring enough to try and fail.
It's an incredible phenomenon: once you fail enough times, it doesn't feel so bad to keep failing. And to boot, the more you fail at the small stuff, the more you're willing to fail at bigger and bigger tasks. Failing starts to feel so natural that it no longer has any power over you.
Reader, take it from this failure: do the scary stuff. Don't worry if it doesn't work out. Count your failures as a win. The more small failures you've got under your belt, the more bold you become. So get out there and fail this week! I'll see you next Sunday. -Em