I was in my acupuncturist’s office Friday and she had a silver paperweight on the counter that said,
“What would you try if you knew you couldn’t fail?”
I’ve heard this question before – it’s not exactly groundbreaking. But for some reason, it stuck with me on Friday. I felt like I was hearing it for the first time.
Maybe because I was finally ready to hear it.
I’m a perfectionist. My mom was in labor for 38 hours and I joke that I was trying to achieve perfection before emerging. Perfectionism can lead to procrastination (“I’m not starting unless I can do it flawlessly”) and paralysis (“If I can’t do it flawlessly, I’m not doing it at all”).
For a perfectionist, “knowing I cannot fail” offers a breath of intoxicating freedom.
The important part is movement. If you think you’ll fail, you’ll never start at all. If you know you’ll succeed, you’ll put in your best effort. Self-fulfilling prophecy, really.
My life’s purpose is to fully express my creativity while connecting with others and helping them grow with me.
How would I approach that if I knew I couldn’t fail? Would I give more of myself? Would I get more personal? Be more authentic? Be unafraid to push you a little, to administer tough love, to be brazenly honest?
And what is failure, anyway? Failure is throwing in the towel. Failure is saying, “it didn’t work.”
The common trait shared by the most successful people in the world is not intelligence, good genes or luck. It’s perseverence. It’s falling down and getting back up. Over and over. It’s believing you’ll get it right – that it’s just a matter of time.
It’s knowing you cannot fail.
What about you?
- Is perfectionism stopping you in your tracks?
- Are you afraid of failure? Of “doing it wrong?”
- Is your true calling hanging in the shadows, waiting for you to to figure out how to do it without stumbling?
- What would YOU do if you knew you could not fail?
Because I’m betting you’ll succeed.