What happens when you don’t even try?

Fail ahead of time.

Many of us don’t attempt to do something because we’re afraid of failing. We’re afraid of what others will think of us if we fail. We’re afraid of what we’ll say and think to ourselves if we fail. 

So we avoid attempting the thing. But what happens when we don’t even attempt the thing? We’re actually FAILING AHEAD OF TIME. 

We fail ahead of time when we don’t even attempt it. At least when we attempt something, go for it, and then it doesn’t work out the way we wanted, we failed while taking action, while going after something. By not attempting it at all, we fail ahead of time. 

So if we’re willing to fail anyway by not taking action, what makes failing and taking action worse? At least we’ve attempted it. And in the attempt, what if we’re actually successful? Then what?  

“Failure” only hurts because of what we make it mean about ourselves. Does it suck to be rejected or to lose? It can. If we’re making it mean that we’re not worthy or that something is wrong with us. But if we think instead, “OK, that wasn’t the right fit. I gave it my best shot and feel good about how I showed up. Let’s see what happens with the next one.” 

If there is no “failing” but only winning and learning, we might be more willing to “fail”–because we’d only be learning something to move forward and grow, or creating a winning outcome for ourselves.  

When we don’t make failure mean anything about us and our worthiness, we can learn from each interaction or situation where things didn’t work out the way we wanted them to. 

We collect information from our attempt. 

We’re more willing to try something else or something different the next time. 

We’re open to learning from the experience. 

We’re willing to continue to show up with our best effort. 

And guess what happens when we continue to show up with our best effort? We might end up winning. 

Your turn: Are you willing to think about “failing” differently? What if “failing” doesn’t mean anything about yourself and is just a learning experience? What if “failing” is a way to gather data to get even better? What would happen if you got good at “failing”?

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