What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
What feats of strength would you attempt? What mountains would you climb? What oceans would you swim?
Would you run a marathon?
Would you write the great American novel?
Would you ask that cute barista out for a date?
If we knew we couldn’t fail, there’s probably nothing we wouldn’t try.
Bungee jumping and skydiving, acts of insanity ordinarily deemed reckless, would suddenly be fun hobbies. Quitting the rat race and pursuing your passion, a leap of faith that seemed too scary, would instantly become the norm.
But alas, we can fail. We do fail. A lot.
And because we can, many of us choose not to try.
We’ll dream of writing a book, but we never do. We’ll talk about quitting our job, but we get up every morning and drive to work. We’ll go to Starbucks several times a week even though we don’t like coffee, but we never say “I seem to have lost my phone number – can I have yours?”
Yes, we refrain because we’re afraid. It’s more than that, though. A big reason many of us refrain is because we’re taught “failure is not an option.” And, long ago, we realized the easiest way to eliminate failure as a possibility is to refrain from doing things that stretch us.
We don’t write a book because publishers might reject it. We don’t turn our passion project into our vocation because we have bills to pay. We don’t say “hi” because she might say “no.”
“If I don’t try, I can’t fail” is the mantra of many of us.
Sound logic, but it’s incomplete.
Failure isn’t inherently bad. It isn’t something to avoid. It is an option.
Failure is a lesson learned. It’s an opportunity taken. It’s the precipice of our future success.
When we refuse to even try, we deprive ourselves of those lessons. We turn our back on opportunities. We miss out on successes.
The journey to success is filled with victories, yes, but also failures.
If you want to succeed, you have to be willing to fail. And when you fail, which you will do more times than not, you have to learn from it so you can try again.
Are you ready to fail?