image courtesy of shutterstock.comMy intention with each of these posts is that you’re challenged to interrupt the noise and routine in your life, just for a moment, to think more deeply about what really matters in life… your relationship with yourself and with others in your professional and personal life.
What causes some people to attempt things that others wouldn’t dream of doing? Is it just courage? Is it blind faith? Is it stupidity?
It could be any one of these or other reasons. To live a more meaningful, flourishing and prosperous personal or professional life may at times require you to attempt that which others around you may not, and that takes a fair amount of self-trust.
Often, attempting something new will be potentially uncomfortable and this is one of the major blockages that holds people back from even trying.
What I’m not suggesting is to take risks without careful planning. Attempting anything new often means you’ll need to review and upgrade your skills, knowledge and resources required to provide the most likely outcome of success.
Also, attempting calculated risks where you are constantly building your competency, strength of character, and fulfilling your intentional aspirational goals may at times result in mistakes. For many, the fear of making mistakes, or worse, the fear of failure can hold them back from making any attempt at something new.
Perfectionism is an interesting concept and one of my favourite researchers and authors on the subject is Brene Brown1. In her wonderful book ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ she writes “Perfectionism is self-destructive simply because there is no such thing as perfect. Perfection is an unattainable goal. Additionally, perfectionism is more about perception – we want to be perceived as perfect. Again, this is unattainable – there is no way to control perception, regardless of how much time and energy we spend trying.”
It’s so easy to hold ourselves back for fear of making a mistake, and yet, having the courage and self-trust to make mistakes is a wonderful (not always so easy and comfortable) way of learning… so long as we learn from our mistakes.
To attempt without learning from making the attempt, whether you succeed or fail, is an attempt potentially wasted. To not attempt anything at all because there is an element of risk is more than likely to result in a sense of stagnation rather than a sense of progress and success.
I have to say this is a lesson I’m continually learning and it certainly isn’t easy. It is easy to stop attempting new things, and it is easy to fall into a rut of existing and not having the self-trust to attempt something new, and to mindfully and intentionally experience what else life might have to offer.
It’s a choice, and as researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky2 points out, while 50% of sense of life satisfaction is genetic and 10% is contextual or situational, that means up to 40% of our overall sense of life satisfaction and well-being will be determined by our intentional choices and actions.
Let me finish this message with a quote from Robert H Schuller who said:
“I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail, than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.”
My best to you for now and remember when you intentionally improve the life of others in your professional and personal relationships, you set up the power of reciprocity … what you give out, you get back.