If you knew that you would not fail, what would be some of the things you would try to do?  That question was recently asked of me when I spoke at a local MomCo group.  I have to confess, I told them they could ask me anything and yet I was surprised by the depth of this question and I only had a minute to think about it and respond.  I will tell you my answer in just a minute but first let me tell you what I have been thinking about since that question was asked…

How often in my life did I not try something because of the fear of failure or was worried about what someone else would think. Sadly, more times than I felt ok with admitting.  What was I afraid of? What would it matter if I really failed?

Then I thought about the times when I was brave and tried something new or had a big idea and it didn’t go so well and you know what?  I actually am thankful for those failures because I learned so much each time.  It made me stronger, it actually made me more determined to try again and honestly, when the idea did work, it made the success of it all that much sweeter and satisfying.

I worry that in recent years we have been telling each other that it’s not ok to fail.  Social media influences have helped fuel the idea that you have to be perfect and your ideas have to be perfect before you even try. If we are being super honest, we know that is not true.  As a matter of fact, we all have failed at something and 100% of us will fail again in the future.  That is a commonality that all of us share.  

Since the question posed is intended to get us thinking, I hope you can reflect back on a time when you failed and what you learned from that experience.  I also hope this question fuels you to think bigger, think better about the possibility that your fear of failure is holding you back from doing some pretty spectacular and satisfying things in this world.

So back to the original question, what would be some of the things you would try to do if you knew you couldn’t fail?  I answered I would write a book and publish it. I would learn multiple languages and I would open a beautiful floral shop. I would secure scientists who could cure cancer and eradicate hunger and poverty.  Once I allowed my brain to think big, it was actually a great exercise to challenge myself on not being afraid to think big and try.  Yes, we can fail but what if we succeed?  That gives us all something to think about and that is my challenge to you – answer the question and then start trying. Also remember, it’s ok if you fail. That failure might just be what prompts you to succeed beyond your wildest dreams.