Sometimes for fun, I like to list all my failures to remind myself that I’m tougher than I think I am. I’m not sure this is a therapist-approved activity but it does seem to work. Inevitably, I end up laughing about something and sharing it later with friends.

A few days ago my son reminded me how important it is to share those stories for more than just laughs. He asked me over dinner if I ever felt overwhelmed. I knew he was really asking if it was ok for him to feel overwhelmed. I was happy to admit that I feel overwhelmed at least twice a week and sometimes every day for months at a time. I think he was genuinely surprised at how often I felt that way. I could see that by admitting this it changed his perception of me a little bit. Hopefully, it changed his perception of himself too. 

It made me wish that more of us talked about the times we failed or didn’t measure up. I know intellectually that it’s ok to fail, but I don’t really believe it until someone stands right in front of me and tells me how bad they screwed something up. What would happen if we shared more stories about the times we fell flat on our faces? How would our perception of ourselves change if we knew about all the times the people around us failed? 

That’s the kind of story we’d like you to bring this month. Tell us about a time when you tried and failed. How did the experience change you? Did it change the way you treated others? Is it something you’ve never told anyone or something that you’ve been laughing about for years? The best stories are the ones you’re a little nervous about sharing. You don’t have to bring your darkest secret, but hopefully, it’ll be a story that means something to you. What a great night it would be if we could all go home feeling a little better about all the times we came up short.

Remember to keep it clean, and practice out loud on friends and family as often as you can. All stories must be under 8 minutes so time yourself when you practice. Stories can be as short as you want but not over 8 minutes. We’re getting more names in Mr. Coffee and some folks aren’t getting to share their story because we run out of time. Thanks for understanding.

Here are the rules and guidelines for telling:

If you’d like help with your story, our next free monthly workshop is January 5. It’s run by two of our regular tellers who volunteer their time. You can RSVP here:

I hope to see you all January 16 at 7 pm at the Olive Way Starbucks 🙂