If you’ve never done it, you can’t say you can’t do it.
Seems clear and logical, right? Yet so many of us do this.
I don’t like it, although you’ve never tried it.
I can’t become that, although you’ve done nothing towards that end.
I can’t do it, although no attempt has been made.
What’s really going on here? I’ll hazard a guess. Fear.
Fear that you really can’t do it.
Fear that you’ll fail, and maybe not so privately.
Fear that others will know you’re not perfect (are they?)
Fear that you’ll have to admit to yourself that you can’t do everything.
The funny thing is that most of us can achieve some level of success in most things if we truly commit to practicing, and understand that failing is often a large part of learning. It’s also true that most of us can achieve huge success in one or a few things if we focus in on them instead of trying to do it all.
Another funny thing is that failing isn’t the horrible thing it’s made out to be. There are so many valuable lessons to be learnt from failure that success just cannot teach.
You learn your strengths and weaknesses; determination and grit; how to constantly improve upon a process; how to not give others’ opinions more weight than they’re worth; how to fall in public with as little embarrassment as falling in private; how to discern sincerity in others; how to ask for help gracefully; how to truly value others’ strengths; when to change directions; who you are at the core, and so much more. With all that being said, who wants to fail with me?
Failure is not an end unless you say so, unless you allow your fears to say so.
I can’t do it is an excuse to not fail, an excuse to do only that which you are comfortable with or know with absolute certainty that you will be good at. It’s a recipe for stagnancy and mediocrity. It won’t lead you to a rut, it is the rut.
Can you do it? Maybe, maybe not. But you’ll never know until you try. You’ll never feel the exhilaration that comes with doing something you thought you couldn’t. You’ll never realize that failure in one area can lead you to success in another. You’ll never have the opportunity to put those fears aside and keep trying new things. You’ll experience only a tiny part of what your life has to offer you.
Is that good enough for you?
Is it? Talk to me in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.