Go for what excites you, today!
A better time may never come.
What’s a goal you have that is worth going after you even if you know there is a high probability of you failing?
This question came up as I was reading If I never tried, an article by Emily Halnon on Ultrasignup.com in which Emily shares her experience of not running the John Muir Trail, a 211-mile trail in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California because she felt she wasn’t fully ready. She kept putting it off for a future date when she felt sure about successfully completing the trail run. As a result, when she was finally to run the trail, she wasn’t able to complete her goal because of the wildfires, she missed her chance.
She shared a similar experience with Olympian Kate Grace:
Olympian Kate Grace was trying to make a national team by focusing on the 1500-meters. She thought it would be easier to make the team in that event than in the 800-meters, even though she was infinitely more excited about running the 800.
“You can do the so-called ‘safe strategy’, and it still doesn’t work out,” Grace said. And if success is never guaranteed, “why not just do the thing that you actually want to do?”
I am guilty as well of putting things off because, in my mind, I have convinced myself that I am not 100% ready to take action and wait for a day in the future, which may never arrive, and miss out on an opportunity to do something I really want to do.
I had a similar experience in which I learned that it is better to try something you love to do and fail instead of not trying and wondering what could have been. I had signed up for a trail race a few months ago, and my training was going well; one month before the race, I got Covid.
Initially, my reaction was not to run the race because I was worried about my lungs and stamina. I thought there would be many more races, and what’s one missed race? I had given up on many races before, and I had a valid excuse this time, but deep inside, I really wanted to run this race. It was a challenge I wanted to complete and one I didn’t want to put off for another day sometime in the distant future.
In moments like these, when we are full of doubt and fear of what could happen, we can pause to reconnect with our goals and purpose to guide us through uncertainty. As I thought back to how I felt when I signed up for my race and what my running goals were, I had a literal burst of positive mental energy and an internal voice saying to go for it. As Brené Brown said, ask yourself “What’s worth doing even if you fail?”. My race was worth running in, even if I failed.
Previously the fear of failing would have kept me from even trying, but after this experience, I am committing to trying even if I don’t succeed. I will dream even bigger to practice becoming comfortable with the possibility of failing and still moving toward my goals.
The big lesson I learned during this situation is that we can’t keep putting off what we are passionate about and what excites us. We need to take the opportunity when it comes as well as not let the possibility of failing to keep us from dreaming big. We may never be completely ready or prepared, but we can trust ourselves and go big.
We don’t need to give in to fear or regret, and we don’t need to think small.
It’s time to live big, dream big, and fail big, today!
Till next time, stay strong!