When someone asks:
“What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”:
Do you get inspired?
Does your heart race as you think of the one great thing you’ll do immediately?
Do you rush off and begin it?
Do you dream of the wildly successful life you’ll have because you did that great thing, knowing you couldn’t fail?
Or do you think “Wait a minute, there’s no guarantee I won’t fail.”
And tuck that dream back into your pocket.
Now that question, that’s been asked millions of times, is a perfectly good question because it gets you thinking beyond your fear of failure for a moment. And sometimes your fear is so great it stops you from imagining what you might do. But the moment you begin to imagine yourself attempting this great thing you want to do, something happens. You realize you might just fail.
It’s a different way to approach it. Rather than imagining your assured success, which feeds your desire for certainty, which is fueled by your fear, you’ll connect with the love that is urging you to act. And I’ll just bet there is something you’d love to do, but fear of failure is holding you back. It may be a passing thought, a flicker of an image at the edge of your peripheral vision, or a longing that won’t let you go. There is something you want to experience, something within you that wants to be expressed. But your fear of failure gets in the way.
What if you change your relationship with failure so that instead of shunning it, fearing it and avoiding it, (poor failure – nobody likes it), you see it as an important part of experiencing life. So much can be gained from failing. Though you think you might die of embarrassment, most failures won’t actually kill you.
I’m willing to fail for love.
I play the ukelele badly. And it makes me so happy every time I do. Yes, I would like to be better, and every time I hit a wrong note, (which is more often than not) the perfectionist in me cringes a little, but the joy of playing it keeps me failing my way through song after song.
I garden without having a clue what I’m doing. I rip up lawn and level dirt and plant food and flowers, and lots of it fails. But more of it thrives. The joy I get from sitting out there listening to nature, feeling the life growing around me and sharing my bounty with butterflies, birds, bees and neighbours makes me happy to be alive.
My first marriage failed. It ended in divorce. But we loved and still love each other. We are friends. The marriage no longer served us. And love made me willing to marry again ~ I’m risking failure for love. (ps. I don’t really think my first marriage failed. It just transitioned into something else)
One of my businesses failed. I started a business in an industry that didn’t exist when we were creating it. We raised capital during the financial crisis of 2008. We failed by missing every goal we set. But I stayed connected to the love that birthed this business into the world, grew closer to my investors through the struggles, and stretched myself more than I thought I could.
I’ve also had lots of success, but within everyone one of those successes are failures big and small. If I’m not failing I’m not challenging myself and growing, and neither are you.