Even if You Failed…What Then?
When it comes to being braver, people always ask the question, “What would you do if you could not fail?”
It’s an interesting question. It challenges us to remove the limiting beliefs that stop us from taking action. It lets us dream. It helps us be just that little bit bolder than our normal daily selves allow for.
And they are all good things.
But it also lulls us into the false belief that things are only worth doing if we succeed. And it keeps us firmly entrenched in our fixed mindset.
Fail is such an interesting word. It has such negative connotations. It’s loaded with harsh emotional meaning. It elicits fear and stops us in our tracks.
And yet it has such wisdom to teach us. And it can help us cut to the heart of what we truly want, what we absolutely believe in, what we really want to do and be and have.
So instead, ask yourself this question:
“What would I do even if I failed?”
Even if things don’t go to plan.
Even if you don’t make the sale. Or get the job. Land the promotion. Give a good presentation. Get the pay rise.
Even if you don’t finish. Don’t land the book deal. Make a mess of the painting. Design a bad website. Write a blog that no one reads. Build a product no one buys. Start a business that just...fails.
What would you do anyway? Out of all the possibilities? What would you choose?
Sit and think about it.
Not what if everything went right. That’s an easy question. Outcome guaranteed. Problems solved. Destination assured.
But what would you put your heart and soul and time and energy and love into, even if you had no guarantee of success? No way of knowing the outcome. That the chances of failure were high and perhaps even probable. That you might even, God forbid, fail not just a little, but an epic amount.
What would you do then?
Think about this: It’s a lesson we aren’t taught, but the magic is actually in the doing. It really matters a whole lot less what happens at the end of the process. The joy is in the doing. The growth is in the doing. It’s who you become on your path to the outcome that makes a difference in your work and life. And it’s who you are and what you do when you fail or succeed that matters.
Define what success means to you. And define what failure means.
Then think of the one thing that you would do regardless of the outcome. Irrespective of the prize. Regardless of who sees you, applauds you, or even notices.
Hold that one thing in your mind. And in your heart.
Go and do that.
Because you must.
And remember, if you fail today, it’s not a failure forever. You can always choose again, start again, try again. If things don’t work out the way you want this time, remember it’s not ‘never’. It’s just ‘not yet’.
So keep going.