Why Start When You Already Know You Won’t Succeed?

Last week we talked about the FUCK IT phenomenon.  You make the perfect plan, set out and do everything right, then you mess up just a little.  That one misstep turns into ruin. You give up.  The plan wasn’t executed perfectly so why even bother continuing?

You fail to accomplish your goal.

This week we’re going to rewind the clock and explore another way in which perfectionism prevents us from achieving our goals.  We’re going to give up before we even get started.

One of the things that I find the most fascinating about those of us with perfectionist tendencies is that perfectionism most often stems from a desire to be correct all the time. We want to be right.  We want to get the gold star.  We want to be our best.  We DO NOT want to fail.

Yet despite that it is so often our very desire to be perfect that leads to that failure.  We either give up when everything isn’t going right or, in an effort to protect ourselves from the inevitable disappointment of giving up, we never start at all.

I have a laundry list of things I’ve considered trying that I haven’t because I didn’t think I would be any good at them right away.  As a general rule, if something doesn’t come easily to me, I tend not to do it.

With most things that’s not a problem.  I’m not very good at gymnastics.  That’s ok since  I have no desire to be a gymnast. 

I’m not a naturally talented singer.  That was more of a problem as, before I became a doctor, I was an actor.  I have a theater degree and I’ve spent countless hours on stage.  I could have tried to become a better singer, but I didn’t.  I was so worried about being bad that I never took the time to try to be any good.  As a result, I am still not a very good singer.

Singing is less a part of my life these days (outside of the shower!) so I don’t know that I’ll take the time to try to learn.  There are, however, other things that I’m not very good at that I want to try even at the risk of failure or, even worse, criticism.

If I’m going to grow my coaching business, then I have to put myself out there.  I have to try to convince a group of people who think that there’s no way they could go to work right now and enjoy it that they’re wrong. 

Have you ever tried to convince people that something they believe is impossible is possible?

You fail, frequently.

That said, each time I fail I learn something.  I see a new avenue toward accomplishing my goal.  If I don’t let the failure mean that I’m not capable, that failure becomes an asset rather than an obstacle.

So, this year my #1 goal is to fail as often as possible.  I want this because, when I’m failing, it means I’m trying.  I’m showing up.  I’m opening my mind to finding new and creative solutions to my problems.  I’m allowing myself to learn and grow rather than hiding from my own internal criticism. 

Learning how to do this has not been easy for me, but it has created opportunities in my life that I never even dreamed were possible.  I’d love to help you do the same.  Please sign up for my free course How To Feel Better On Your Next Shift then email me at hello@unicorndoctor.com when you’re ready to get started.