Are you willing to fail?
For most of my life I could never conceive of such a thing. It was never an option. We are taught that failure is bad. But, what if it wasn’t? What if being willing to fail was exactly what we needed to grow, expand, and stretch to achieve the success we envision?
The Google definition of failure reads 1) lack of success, and 2) the omission of expected or required action. What’s interesting is that most people, myself included, don’t go after their dreams because they don’t want to fail. In reality, we fail before we even get started. That’s great justification for the brain, whose job it is to keep us safe.
My coach and teacher, Brooke Castillo, has said “success can be acquired through failure and the willingness to fail”.
The entire month of December in Self Coaching Scholars has been dedicated to picking one big, scary goal that I will fail at doing in 2018. Yes, you read that correctly. My job was to set an impossible goal. The idea is to take massive action to accomplish it, and be willing to fail knowing my goal is absolutely insane, ridiculous, and not at all possible.
It’s fascinating, because knowing that I’m going to fail takes away the fear that I could fail. Isn’t it funny how that works? I’m a lot more willing to step out of my comfort zone and do all the things. Recognizing that my fear about failure is an emotion changes my entire outlook. “When you understand that the worst that can happen is an emotion and there isn’t an emotion you aren’t willing to feel, the whole world opens up.” – Brooke Castillo
It wasn’t easy to come up with just one goal. I brainstormed, and had a list of many. I finally settled on one, and only one. It just so happened to be the first one I wrote down.
After deciding on my impossible goal, the next step was to plan to fail. To do that, I had to select 25 epic fails per quarter. That’s 25 actions leading toward my impossible goal. That’s a whole lot of failure!
You might be wondering what I picked as my impossible goal.
I’m going to share it with you, even though the idea of making this public is scaring the crap out of me. It makes it real. And, it’s big! And, it feels totally impossible. I’m willing to feel the fear and do it anyway.
My impossible goal for 2018 is (drumroll, please) to lose 100lbs.
I have lost 100lbs before, so for a moment I thought this is not totally impossible. However, I gained back 40lbs after my breast cancer diagnosis. In my mind it feels impossible to lose it and keep it off. I have never lost a substantial amount of weight and kept it all off. What can possibly make this time different?
When I sit and reflect, there’s a lot that has changed. For starters, I have resolved so much of what kept me focused on food and overeating. I don't eat unconsciously anymore. I have a new appreciation for my body, and that helps me fuel it in a way that feels great. I have a new relationship with myself that is filled with kindness, compassion, and curiosity. Things are already different because there is no diet, there are no products, and there is no shame. And, I have a list of actions I will most likely fail at doing each quarter. Every time I fall down (because I will fall down) I can choose to get back up. I will continue to be willing to fail.
Every month I will share a recap of the good, the bad, and the ugly. You’ll get to see just how big I fail throughout the year, and how many times I fall. It’s my way to stay accountable and be an example what is possible when we are willing to fail. I have a hunch it’s going to be a wild ride full of many new opportunities to grow and learn. I hope you will cheer me on.
There you have it. My crazy, impossible goal for 2018. What’s yours?