The more I expand in my baking horizons, the more frequent my failures.
At first, this really, really bothered me. I was tempted to think that because so many of my efforts were not turning out how I wanted that it was a reflection on my inability and inadequacy in the kitchen.
For a couple of days I was in a real funk.
I’m not even good at what I enjoy. Maybe I should just give this up and move on, I thought to myself.
Thank goodness the pity party lasted only a short while. And out of it came a new resolve to learn more and expand my skills and repertoire in the kitchen.
I learned some valuable lessons in the middle of the mess.
1. Expanding beyond known and comfortable borders is nearly always….really uncomfortable and not natural feeling.
I had long since baked the tried and true family favorite recipes. Many were mastered and the recipe card was no longer brought out. This was a place of security and strength. When I began to discover and learn about different ingredients, recipes and styles, the challenge level increased astronomically. It didn’t “feel” as fun. And my confidence faltered as the outcomes were not what I expected.
Uncomfortable and a sensation of awkwardness is natural when going in a new direction. If one gives up because of being awkward, accomplishment will not be reached.
Now, I tell myself- “feeling uncomfortable in this area is o.k. I am learning and expanding my skill set. I will become a better home baker because of this new experience.”
2. There will be inevitable “failures” when pursuing new ventures- even if one has a natural inclination in said areas.
Be careful about using the term “failure” in a negative way. If Thomas Edison called one thousand (and more) failure in creating the light bulb educational in ways “not to make a light bulb” then I can persist at my endeavors.
The key is to look at them as opportunities for learning, for growth, for how “not” to do something. It is also important to note that successful people in every field have a much higher rate of failure than non-successful people. There have been multiple formal studies that reflect this data.
3. My reaction to failure will determine the scope and influence of my life.
As many a wise person has said, “we are the sum of our daily decisions.” We would like to think that individual daily decisions do not affect the whole of our lives. But our daily decisions turn to habit and habits form our lives.
What will characterize my life? Will I give up when things become hard or failure looms? Or will I get up, face the challenge, get a better attitude about the benefits of “failure” and start again.
I don’t want to be a quitter.
Not in the kitchen. Not in relationships. Not in life.