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June 24, 2010


Great post, Whitney. For me (who was a perfectionist before having children), the only thing that makes failure bearable / possible is having a safe place to retreat to when I fall--somewhere or something where I know failure in one area will not affect the other.

Heads up, the link to your HBR blog didn't work for me--I had to google it to find it.

Oh, i know when you wrote that HBR, after you ran on that Saturday, right? Sorry about the bad days behind you. Have you taken some time lately to enjoy a summer moment? love you.

Loved the HBR post! I have a failure I've always been proud of. The summer before 6th grade my family moved across the country to a new town. I was in a new school and had yet to meet any friends. One day I came across an ad in the local newspaper saying that a theater company was holding auditions for Fiddler on the Roof. Though I'd never had any acting training, voice lessons or even much encouragement along those lines, I decided I wanted to try out. I asked my mom to take me to the audition, and the entire way there she insisted that I practice my song. In retrospect, as a mother myself, I think she was afraid of my failure. Anyway, I got to the audition and nervously sung my heart out. Unfortunately, the only feedback I got was that my voice was too soft and maybe if I took voice lessons I could come back and try out again for another show. After feeling a bit embarrassed and sad that I had not gotten a part, my mom congratulated me the entire way home for just trying out! She realized that I was showing amazing ambition, confidence and awareness of the world (like how many 6th graders actually pore over the want ad section of the newspaper?!) for someone so young. A few years later I tried out for my high school's musical, but again didn't make it. Undeterred at being part of the show, I timidly asked the director if he needed any help with the costumes. I knew my sewing skills were definitely better than my singing skills! The director was thrilled to know of my skills and offered me the position of costume mistress for the entire show (The King and I)! As a lowly sophomore I was given a huge responsibility and I loved it. Perhaps if we fail at something, we just need to try another aspect of it which could lead to success!

Fantastic article in HBR. Congrats. And the comments are inspiring. Gosh, I can't think of one failure that stands out. I may have blocked it out of my mind. But I do think I fail, or rather take risks, on a daily basis. I challenge myself to learn more from and be surounded by professionals in my industry whose credentials and experience exceed my own. Sometimes I lack the business acumen of other more seasoned Or highly trained veterans of my trade and therefore expose my weaknesses. But the benefits gained by the professional relationships far out weigh my percieved failures. So that is the stretching I do daily.

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About this blog

  • When I took a sabbatical from Wall Street to pursue a different dream and help others live theirs, I learned that women in the U.S. may be placated, even pampered, but because we aren't dreaming, we are also desperate and depressed. Drawing on a variety of sources, ranging from academic studies to pop culture, dare to dream encourages us to dream. And then to act on our dreams.


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