A popular inspirational question for folks wanting to make a shift in their life is: What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?
This is a powerful quote meant to give the person permission to dream much bigger than the reality of their life’s current confines.
A great trick for dreaming and planning new goals but in life, failure is a real possibility. So I’ll ask you this question instead: What would you attempt knowing full well you could fail?
I’ll bet what you imagine is a much smaller dream……..and that would a shame.
Here is an inspiring life lesson I received resently from Monica Knight Ph.D. Check out her website at: shosholoza.ca
This story actually began several months ago when she came into the little vintage shop where I work part-time and confided in us that she had just been to an interview for a teaching contract and was positive it bombed.
Jane, the store owner and I did our best to support her. We laughed with her as she regaled us with a comical rendition of the event and let her vent her embarrassment and disappointment.
Monica had recently relocated here and needed the job.
Even then I was inspired.
Monica is a force of nature. She is so authentic, so unexpected, that her delivery might seem out of the box to most. Especially once you find out she has a masters in leadership and training.
But Monica is no starched shirt academic. Instead she prefers feather boas, paper streamers and classic rock to motivate her students.
Being highly educated and having letters attached to the end of your name does not inoculate you against failure. Competition exists no matter what level you are at. There will always be someone smarter than you, younger than you, more technically advanced than you, even someone who has better connections than you.
What makes Monica an inspiration to me is that she tried anyway, even though the odds were against her.
She did not have a slick power point presentation, just poster board and felt markers. Being new to the area, she had no inside connections to give her an edge and her presentation was certainly not what the interviewers were expecting from a successful candidate.
Hell, even her twisting pantyhose were conspiring against her. But she tried anyway.
You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.
Wayne Gretzky, hockey legend
No matter how great the odds are against you, if you have a dream or a goal that you want to achieve, you will never realise it unless you try. And I guarantee, at some point along the journey you will fail. Try anyway.
It may even be a publicly embarrassing epic fail. No matter, get back up, brush yourself off and try again.
Monica went into that interview fully aware she had little chance of success, but she muzzled her self doubts and gave it her best shot anyway. And that, is really the secret to success.
No matter what goal you are striving to achieve, or dream you hold close to your heart, or even if there is an insurmountable obstacle you need to find the path around, you will never make it happen unless you decide that you owe it to yourself to at least try.
Fast forward to a couple of days ago. I looked up from the sales desk at the little vintage shop to see Monica’s smiling face. Against the odds, even though she felt sure her interview bombed, Monica got the contract and the outcome turned out better than even she had hoped for.
She could have easily let her fears hold her back. She could have dreamt a smaller, safer dream. She could have muffled her authentic self and conformed to the parameters of what was expected of her in order to get the job, but instead, Monica owned who she really is as a professional and being the unique soul that she is, did the interview on her own terms.
Sure she could have failed, her ego bruised, her soul trampled by the negative committee, gleefully dancing about in her head. But even though she would have still been without that much needed job, the truth that is uniquely Monica would remain as strong as ever. All because she took the chance, stepped out from the fear shadows and tried anyway.
Friends inspire other friends to get out there and try. Be a friend and share this post and inspire a friend.