I dared greatly and I failed

May 4, 2021

Three weeks ago I did my first live meditation on Insight Timer. It was a disaster.

I’ve been a teacher on the world’s largest meditation app since the summer, and in November I was lucky enough to be enrolled into the LIVE function.

That function allows you to host a meditation live on the app. I signed up for the mandatory test of your hardware—including an instruction to go live. I was excited and knew I had to schedule my first talk.

The next week I had successfully completed my test run and I was licensed to talk live. All I had to do was set a date for my first appearance.

But I was busy, really busy. I was so busy I found seemingly reasonable excuses to postpone going live. At the time it wasn’t immediately apparent to me that I was procrastinating.

No, I simply had so many other things on my plate that took priority. Like writing my Energy Management book.

Come January I started adding ‘schedule Insight Timer live’ to my To Do list. At the end of the month I sat down to fill in the needed info in the app. But no matter how many times I clicked ‘submit’ nothing happened.

I had to jump through a few more hoops until, finally, I had set a date.

I admit I was a little nervous. About 50 people had signed up for my live meditation. I kept thinking “Why am I nervous? I do this daily. It’s not like I won’t have anything to talk about, right?”

Ten minutes before I am supposed to go live, I log in. I check the microphone and the camera. All is in working order.

The timer counts down until I see 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, LIVE.

I smile and start talking. I’m supposed to be able to see the comments people post but somehow I don’t see them. Shoot. I must’ve forgotten where to pull that up. The training was five months ago after all…

Okay, no worries. I’ll just start. I do my thing and lead people through the meditation. Twenty-three minutes later I bring everyone back to the present and I still don’t see the comments.

So I decide to pull up the app on my phone because I want some interaction by now. Turns out there are loads of comments. A guy named Tom is talking people through yoga poses. During MY meditation. What?!

I’m still live so I say “Wow thank you Tom for adding your expertise.” while I’m thinking What’s going on?

I scroll up further in the comments. This is what I see:

At this point I’m freaking out. Oh My God! What happened???

Turns out I am NOT live! I spent twenty-three minutes talking to a screen while nobody heard or saw me.

Once the timer announced LIVE I was supposed to push the button. Which I forgot because the trial run was a lifetime ago.

At this point I’m ready to sink through the floor. But I muster my courage and click the LIVE button. And I explain. And profusely thank Tom for leading people through yoga poses while they were waiting for me.

I asked if they were still up for a meditation. Amazingly they were, so I dove in again.

In total 165 people watched me fail. A large number of them stuck around for round two.

I think deep down I knew this was going to happen. Apparently, I had to go through this experience and that’s why I put it off as long as I could.

I just watched The Call to Courage from Brené Brown again and she talks about how you can’t dare greatly without failing. And how people translate that into “Yeah I understand that when I dare greatly I risk failing.”

And she emphasized “No, you’re not listening. When you dare greatly you will fail. Guaranteed!”

So I hit pause and asked myself. When did I fail?


I decided to share this story because I think we don’t talk enough about what goes wrong. We’re so focussed on showing the world what we’re doing right.

Are you daring greatly? Are you giving yourself permission to fail?

I know it’s not always easy, and very tempting to postpone stepping out into the arena. It seems so much easier to play small, and it’s undoubtedly much safer.

But a lot poorer too. I could’ve done without feeling like a fool, but I’ve done two more live meditations on Insight Timer since and I’m really enjoying them!

On the second one—when I knew where to look for the comments—I was thrilled to read people were joining from California to Tasmania, from the Scottish Highlands to South Africa. It felt like the energy was spanning across the entire globe. I would’ve missed that if I had been too afraid to schedule a second meditation.

In fact, I regularly host a live meditation on Insight Timer now! 🙂

You can join me for free. If you follow me here on the app you’ll get a notification of my upcoming activations. Or simply enjoy one of the existing meditations you can listen to at any moment.

I hope to ‘see’ you there in the comments 😉


PS If you’ve not yet seen Brené Brown’s talk then I highly recommend you watch it! This is the famous quote from Theodore Roosevelt that inspired much of her book Daring Greatly:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

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