I have decided to take part in a 7 day journaling challenge as a way of writing in a different format to normal. My aim is to write for about 10 minutes in response to the prompt, tidy up any typos then post my entry here. Feel free to join in…
To be honest, that’s an interesting question for me and I’ve been thinking about how to answer it. At first glance, it seems reasonably straightforward: the fear of failure often holds us back so if there was no chance of failing, what new challenge would I take on? But the difficulty for me comes from how we interpret “failure” and how we deal with it. Surely for a challenge to really be a challenge, there has to be the risk that we might not succeed? Surely failing (or not succeeding) in something is what gives us the feedback to learn from and improve next time. Surely failure in some way, shape or form is necessary in life?
There have certainly been times in the past when I would shy away from things because I didn’t want to fail – failing wasn’t something that happened to me – or let people down. Perhaps it’s age, perhaps it’s experience, but these days that seems to bother me much less. If I say I’m going to do something and it doesn’t work out, nobody will think any less of me. If there’s a chance something might not work out the way I want it to, I don’t really use that as a reason not to try, it would simply be an interesting experience to have, a story to tell. Besides, I very much believe in the old adage “what’s for you won’t go by you”. In other words, the universe has its plan and is working for us not against us so everything happens for a reason.
Once upon a time I thought I couldn’t run further than 5k, that if I tried I would fail. Last year I ran my 11th marathon .
Once upon a time I thought the idea of taking on a cycling challenge was crazy because I hadn’t been on a bike since I was a kid. A few months later I completed the Etape Caledonia.
Once upon a time I thought I would be terrible at activities involving water, that I would fall in, hate it and make a fool of myself. Last year I tried SUP yoga and loved it.
My point is, that if the threat of failure wasn’t there, I probably wouldn’t have tried as many things as I have in recent years. I wanted challenge and found ways to challenge myself. If there was no threat of failure, these would simply be “things”, like eating breakfast or breathing.
So what would I do if I knew I could not fail? I don’t think I could pin it down to one challenge or activity. If I choose not to try something, it’s usually something else like timing, money or logistics that stands in the way rather than my chances of success. But if you forced me into an answer, I’d have to say attempt a headstand on a stand up paddleboard. It just looks so cool!!
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
What are your thoughts on “failure”?