Take a second and think about this question: What one thing would you do if you knew you’d be successful?
For me, short of the obvious “ask out Ed Sheeran" or “try out one of those wing suits,” my answer revolves around my career goals. For you, it could be something completely different.
Your answer will tell you what you value most: love, adventure, money, social status, etc.
It could take years to answer this question fully. When you do arrive at an answer, you will have mentally sorted through the multitudes of things you want for your life, and managed to land on just one thing. That’s a great first step.
Unfortunately, your answer may also address your biggest fears. It may tell you about the chances you’ll never take and the bridges you’ll never cross as long as success is not guaranteed.
Of course, success in your answer is something that matters to you, so much so that the fear of not achieving it could be debilitating.
Whether talking to someone you find attractive or submitting an application for a new job, fear of failure prevents more than any of us would like to admit. Yes, failure is possible, but it’s not and will never be the only possible outcome.
Who says you won’t be successful? Is failure that common in your life? If we learn from our mistakes, why are we all so afraid to make them?
There’s that old adage that your chances go up 100 percent when you file an application; yet, that won’t prevent you from putting things off indefinitely.
No matter how many inspirational articles you read on Elite Daily or how many friends encourage you to pursue your dreams, laziness and simple insecurity can stop you from ever becoming your fullest, truest self. What a shame.
There is hope, though -- more than just a little. Think of all of the times you were worried about the outcome of something, and then it went well.
Think about the difficult things you have already achieved. Think about where you were three years ago, and where you are today. Think about how all the success you’ve had so far feels. Think about how worth it all of your effort has been.
Give yourself some time to come up with an answer to this question. Dig deep and explore all of your options. Once you have figured out your answer, pursue it as if it doesn’t matter if you fail.
Because, the truth is, it really doesn’t matter if you fail. In the short-term, sure, it might be uncomfortable or upsetting. It might be frustrating or disheartening, but it won’t be the end.
If you’ve taken the time to formulate a real answer to this question, even the possibility of achieving it should make the risk worth taking.
If that success wouldn’t be worth it, then maybe you need to reassess your answer and find something you care about even more, something that would be worth failing at just so you could say you tried.
Failure isn’t trying and not succeeding; failure is getting to the end and realizing you never once lifted a finger to pursue what matters most to you.
You may have wanted to; you may have thought about it; you may have had all of the good intentions in the world, but you never actually did anything. That is what real failure is.
The people who care about you won’t care about you any less if you don’t succeed right away.
In fact, the people who matter will be happy you took the chance to reach your dreams and will encourage you to keep trying. Lean on them for support -- that’s what they are there for.
Asking yourself this question, and following through on your answer could be the key that unlocks the door of your true potential. And, trust me, that’s a door worth opening.