A Failure Attempting Something Extraordinary is a Great Success
First of all, thank you for saying yes to reading this article. Maybe you're not typically a blog-reader, you're new to this particular blog, or, reading articles like this are altogether outside of your standard modus operandi. If so, you're akin to a special sub-set of people who aren't afraid to break a few eggs to make that eggs benny you've been dying for since last weekend's brunch. Or, at least in some capacity, you understand the benefits often won through exploration, an open mind, and the courage to break routine, even though it can get messy at times. Much of what can hold us back is the unknown failure that could be waiting on the other side of our venturing discovery. By reading this very article you could be spending time out of your life that you will never get back (aren't I a great self-promoter?). Maybe building up the courage to approach a potential new client, or submitting your work in consideration for review amongst your peers will leave you in a wake of despair and turmoil. Not likely.
Below is an overview of things we all know about ourselves; our fears, reservations, road blocks, and how to overcome them.
I Fear That I Won't be Successful
Subtext: My concern for not being able to do anything worthwhile is preventing me from trying to do anything at all.
Those that know me know that I am a big fan of craft beers. The above statement is the equivalent of me refusing to go on a brewery tour for fear that I might not get to taste my favourite beer while there. Well, that could be true but does that make the whole trip a loss? The point being, regardless of your desired outcome, it is the perspective you hold of your given situation that dictates whether you've got one in the WIN or LOSE column. If we can agree that perspective drives the thought process that then drives actionable movement, then we can agree that a loss perceived as a win is just as good as a win. In more simple terms, "The Great One", Wayne Gretzky is famous for having said that "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take".
TAKEAWAY: Success is earned by those that have the courage and endurance to take as many shots as is necessary versus those who dwell in a state of "analysis paralysis" for the ever-elusive "perfect shot".
I Don't Have Anything Unique to Offer
That's impossible! You are the only you that has ever existed. EVER! There is no one else who has ever walked this big blue planet with your very detailed and specific combination of experiences, knowledge, and overall outlook. You are truly unique and the world will be at a loss if not for the footprints you impart to it.
Do I absolutely believe the above to be 100% true? YES!
Do I think that everyone reading this will agree? Unfortunately not.
Ok, though we are all valuable, how do we prove it to those of us that might be a bit skeptical? Well, start creating unique experiences to drive development of a unique outlook.
Does everyone you work with take the bus for their daily commute?
Change it up. Walk, take a cab, or ride your bike.
Do you always get your morning coffee from Tim Hortons?
Then go to Finch Espresso (Hamilton), Cafe Oranje (Hamilton), Manic (Toronto), Dark Horse (Toronto), or one of the other great coffee spots in your city.
When you go to the store do you always take the same route?
Try taking a different route every once in a while...even if it's not the most ideal route.
All of these scenarios add more pebbles to the infinite ripple effect that is your life. Choices like this become like nested Matryoshka dolls that go on forever but are also ever-changing. Each new experience building on the last.
TAKEAWAY: You are more unique and valuable than you might think. Prove it and start rewarding yourself with new experiences by making small and simple changes in your routine.
I Just Don't Have it in Me to Make the Effort
Did you know that 26.732% of all statistics are made up on the spot? Well, of course I'm kidding but if I were to hazard a guess I would say that of all the effort people put into everything they do, it's the decision to fulfill the last 3% of what's required to be successful that people struggle with the most. Entrepreneur Noah Kagan has a great thought process to obliterate the power that 3% seems to hold over our heads sometimes: Remove potential obstacles and make it easy (so incredibly easy) for your future self to say YES to whatever it is that will promote a successful outcome (I'm paraphrasing). Now this is going to mean different things to different people. For example, one of Noah's tricks for going for a run each morning was to place his running shoes in the middle of the hallway outside of his bedroom so that he is forced to see them en route to starting his day. This works for him but maybe you need to take it a step further like I did. I put my running shoes right on top of my alarm clock (iPhone) so that the first thing I touch when my alarm goes off in the morning are my running shoes (that's what protective cases are for anyway...right?). Even further I keep all of my running attire right on the floor where my feet hit the ground so there's no searching, fumbling, and no excuses for not getting out there. Think about how you can set your future self up for a gentle ease toward success.
Not worth making these minor considerations in lieu of future effort? Well, then maybe it's really not worth doing and you'd be wasting your time on it anyway. But make that decision ahead of time and replace it with something that you know will definitely add value to your life. If you set yourself up to consider that inner value proposition at 5:45am then you're likely battling a lopsided negotiation that isn't working in your favour.
TAKEAWAY: We typically put out 97% of the effort needed to be successful. Find simple ways to make completing that final (and all too critical) 3% of effort a breeze.
Successful Failure by Proxy
So fail. Fail a lot. Fail BIG! Fail often. Be courageous enough to fail as often as you possibly can, in the best and brightest ways you can imagine, and you will have earned the invaluable and unique experiences that pave the way for every great future success.
How Great at Failing Are You?
What are some of the ways you've put yourself out there? What have you learned from your great failures? Have a unique story you want to share? Please feel free to comment below or send a personal message.
Thanks for connecting!