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 in to the false belief that things are only worth doing if we succeed. As if we know what that success looks like. As if we can calculate it. Or count on it.
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 ask yourself this question:
“What would you do EVEN IF YOU 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. You 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 of 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 super 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?
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. Or who sees you, applauds you, or even notices.
That one thing you have to do just because you can’t not do it. You simply must. You are called. You long for it. Your soul must make it happen.
And it really doesn’t matter what happens because the process of the doing is where the magic is. The joy is in the doing. Not the being. Or the succeeding. Success is just the act itself.
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.