Whenever we get deep into something we judge as not going well, we start to panic. “Quit while you can,” the voice of fear says, “because the odds are getting worse by the minute. You’re going to fail, you’re going to fail, you’re going to fail . . . .”
That’s a lie. Bookmakers set odds beforehand. The odds don’t change once the game is on. Besides, we’re playing to win, no matter what the odds.
It’s a good thing that sometimes those fearful warnings fall on deaf ears. Otherwise we’d never get to make heroes out of people who persevered and triumphed even though everyone told them to give up. We love those stories, and ours could be one of them. How about we think about that the next time we’re inclined to pronounce a failure judgment on ourselves?
With some practice, we’ll start to believe we can actually give up on failure. Which means we can also give up on quitting, too. If we can’t fail, then why quit? It took guts to get started, and it took more to keep going, so why stop now? The story’s just getting good!
Besides, hedging bets is for professional investors and gamblers, not for people trying to make their dreams and visions and big ideas a reality.
We reach for the word failure when we get to the point where we want to scream to anyone who will listen that we’ve given it our all and the whole thing isn’t working so why bother anymore. But the truth is, no we haven’t. Determination defies endurance. Just because we’re broke, lonely, worn out, and discouraged doesn’t mean we’ve got nothing left. There’s always more.
Maybe we cling to the possibility of failure because that lets us hold a little something in reserve when we try to do the impossible. That strategy appeals to our fearful side, but ironically and perversely, the thing we’re holding back might be the difference between getting or not getting what we want.
Besides, what are we holding it back for anyway? So we can keep open the opportunity to return to whatever we wanted to leave behind in the first place?
No thanks. Life is tricky enough without living with one hand tied behind our back. I say we give up on failure instead. And while we’re at it, let’s give up on quitting, too.