It occurred to me that there is an art to never failing and it is wrapped up the context you create for yourself when you undertake a task. For most of us engaging in the world is not a conscious exercise. We get up. We go to work. We strive toward a vague idea of more money and that promotion. We are in fact just going with the flow just like all the people we know. Along the way obstacles are thrown our way and we find that we often hesitate to take risks or really, really try for the things we want. We even go so far as to keep our real desires hidden from ourselves, keeping them vague…so that when we fail (note, when not if) the sting is not so harsh. We had never really committed so we never really failed.
As a coach one of my goals is to assist you in getting clarity on what it is you want which is often a challenge. I find that most every person has a hard time articulating their wants (it took me a while to get used to being so blunt and forward). There seems to be an inbuilt and unconscious habit that stops us from clearly defining what we want. As if that clarity will evoke negative attention from the universe. It is as if intense clarity is nothing more than setting ourselves up for failure.
But what if creating a clear vision of what you want actually releases yourself from ever failing ? Think about it – if you know where you want to go then is how you get there so important ? So long as you get there ? (I am talking about ‘how’ in terms of how long, how straight ? I am not referring to that infamous phrase, ‘the end justifies the means’).
You see I find that people are afraid to try because they might fail and then the moment they fail they stop. But what if you were not supposed to inherently know how ? What if the whole point is that you get to experience and learn for yourself ? What if you are not supposed to succeed first time around ?
We live in a world where learning as an adult is frowned upon. There is this unvoiced expectation that individuals always know what they are doing, even when they are doing something new. As if the mere fact that it has been done before means every one should automatically know how.
So what if you decided to reject this assumption of expertise ? What if, when you created this vision or context for yourself of what you wanted, you included a statement that created you as an explorer and made it an adventure ? Because explorers are allowed to ‘get it wrong’. In fact, the very essence of exploring is to try new things without an expectation or investment in success. As an explorer you are not expected to already have the answers because you are choosing to head into unknown territory and learning along the way is a part of the challenge and adventure.
So….there you are with your clear vision and an explorers mind set. You can now step into action because even when you do not achieve what you set out to achieve you are getting results and learning. Every time you take a step you are getting more information that improves your odds of completing the next step and getting to your goal. Every step you take, whether you get the expected/ desired outcome or not, takes you toward your goal, even if it is just to eliminate an option.
The first step is often the hardest as you may have a clear vision about where you want to end up, but no cooking clue what the first step really is. So you take a learning step. You try something and see what happens. Something you think will get you closer to your goal. It may, it may not but with every step the next step becomes clearer and your goal comes closer.
The world around you may be its normal critical observing self. Labeling your efforts as success or failure, but you do not care. Because every step is a success! The word failure no longer is part of your experience.
Here is my challenge to you – to become the explorer of your life! To give up labeling the outcome of your efforts and instead just focusing on keeping moving toward what it is you want! Try it! You may be surprised by the results.