This is a message for all of those who let the fear of failure guide their actions.
Businesses, sales pitches, speeches, relationships, school, the list goes on. You name it, I’ve failed at it. In the last year alone the list is rather lengthy; from the girl that got away, to many dollars lost, to a business that is currently 2 months from running out of cash. It seems as though whichever way I look I see my failures, and that to me is the very definition of what it means to be truly alive.
For this particular topic, I especially like the example of love. Partially because I’m a romantic, partially because it is undoubtedly one of the strongest of all human emotions as well as one of the greatest of all human fears with respect to losing it.
Love also tends to be one of those areas for me where people always want to provide advice, and generally speaking, the advice tends to be awful. You see, the most common advice that I get on this topic is to “take it easy” and “play it safe”. I’ll often hear advice along the lines of “don’t fall too hard, it could end badly”. Every time I hear this advice, I can’t help but to think just how much of life’s greatest joys one would miss out on if they were to constantly hold back a little piece of their love for the fear of having that love betrayed. To me, its an absolute no-brainer. The pain of heartbreak is dwarfed in comparison to the joy of falling in love. Love is worth the risk.
Now, I used love as the example, but its not about love. This is about all areas of life and unfortunately “safe” is how the majority of you choose to play it. Not you? Just look. Look for that thing that you keep telling yourself you’ll do “one day”. That dream job you say you’ll go after, that trip you keep telling yourself you’ll take, that job of yours that you hate and keep telling yourself you’ll quit. No matter how good your excuse is for waiting, the future doesn’t exist.
Wherever there is an opportunity for success there is a risk of failure. That’s just the way things work. The alternative to taking risks isn’t a lack of pain – it’s a lack of everything. It’s numbness. You see, we as humans are phenomenal at lying to ourselves. We keep trying to convince ourselves that one day everything will just line up and fall into place and suddenly the time will be right for us to take action. The time is never perfect, but the time is always right.
When you see things this way, as they truly are, the world looks a little different. Suddenly the world opens up a little. The impossible becomes possible. The ultimate pain is no longer failing to succeed, it’s failing to try. When you don’t try, you’re just numb. At least when you’re in pain you still know you’re alive.
Go after it. Lay everything down on the line and chase after life. The girl, the boy, the business, the travel, the dream, whatever it is – go after it. Stop thinking about it and do it. Take some f*cking action. Yes, you will fail. No, it won’t work out every time.
The greatest discovery you’ll make is when you realize that your worst case scenario is actually better than the numbness of inaction.
This to me, is everything. This is what drives me. The idea of living in a world where people fully express themselves and their love; where people aren’t afraid to make a difference; where people chase after what really matters to them; to me, that is a worthwhile vision. That’s something worth working towards. That’s something I am working towards. It’s an audacious goal to say the least. One thing I know for sure though is that “failure” would be to never even try.
Ready, set, action.