Opportunities to Fail

The funny thing about writing an anti-perfectionism blog is that there’s this expectation that you’ll be perfect at it. People expect that because I write about taking it easy on myself, about detachment, confidence, acceptance, etc., that I have all these things down pat. Well, I have to break it to you: I don’t.

This blog, in many ways, is about discipline. It’s about inspiring myself and others to do our absolute best at all times, especially when it’s difficult. I don’t write for or connect with perfect people, because they simply don’t exist. This blog – like life, work, relationships, etc. – is an opportunity to fail. And I’m going for it.

So with that, it’s resolution time.

I do believe that you can make a fresh start at any time, but I usually set overarching resolutions and goals at the top of each year anyway. Something about the energy of so many people getting started at the same time is just invigorating.

This past year, I got a chance to do a lot of reading, and one of my favorite books from 2013 was The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin. In the book, Godin touches on several topics relating to the expansion of our comfort and safety zones. But a point of his I especially connected with was the concept of picking yourself.

To pick yourself is to acknowledge that you have everything you need right now to create what you want, and that we’re only stopped by our own fears, which is a terrible, terrible excuse.

Now, this is a familiar topic. We’ve all heard it before. The fear of failure can be paralyzing. But what Godin pushes us to answer are the questions of why not: Why not try? Why not, knowing all the things that could potentially go wrong, push yourself to do something new and unpredictable anyway?

If you do fail, you do better. Simple as that.

We really have to ask ourselves, if we’re only taking on opportunities to succeed, and if we’re only doing what we’re told to do, are we really reaching new heights? When we take on opportunities to fail, we go beyond the execution of easy. We acknowledge that it’s going to be hard and that there’s a serious level of uncertainty, and we choose to go for it anyway.

As a perfectionist, I’ve done things that I knew I’d win. And likewise, I’ve avoided things that I’d possibly lose. But that’s boring. There’s no satisfaction in winning when you know you’ll win. What’s the point? It’s like celebrating a blow out of the worst team in the league. There’s no challenge, no fear, and there’s definitely no growth.

As we head into the new year, let’s take some real chances. We have everything we need to make it happen. So why not do it now?

Happy 2014 to you all. I’ll see you on the other side. 🙂

“If everything you try works, you are not trying hard enough.” – Gordon Moore

My 2014:

– Work.
– Live, learn, and grow.
– Do new things.
– Speak less, listen more.
– Detach from outcomes.


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