“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.” – Oscar Wilde
How free are you to make mistakes or fail? If you are like too many people, you limit yourself by your fear of failure and unwillingness to risk a new experience or adventure; and then play the game of “What if?” When we are faced with uncertainty and/or ambiguity, we too often develop a case of what I call the “wouldas, couldas and shouldas.” We make excuses for our fear of the potential outcome of any action we take. As a result we miss the opportunity to learn, to explore and expand our world view. In other words the fear of failure and making mistakes limits our personal and professional growth and fulfillment of our potential.
As one ponders taking the risks that life presents, I believe it is important to understand that most of the actions you take really only impact you for the short term. At the same time the “unturned stone” has the potential to impact you forever. Perhaps it is best to ask yourself, “Do you have any regrets in life?” Take a minute and reflect, then take a sheet of paper and jot down any personal or professional regrets you allow to grind at you. The regrets that provoke statements like, “I wish I would have” or “If only I would have” or “If I could do it all over again, I ….” Then ask yourself if it was worth it to miss the opportunity, avoid the risk and stay secure?
Our ability to risk and challenge ourselves teaches us how to be adaptive, more flexible and demands that we be more focused and better prepared. In effect, our freedom to fail positions us be more successful. I truly believe that your ability to face the unknown and to risk failure and mistakes will expand your creativity, heighten your sense of competence and authenticity while at the same time making you a better team player and collegial colleague.
I challenge you this month, go to the edge, look over and jump!
“If you always do what you always did – you’ll always get what you always got.” ~ Unknown