I have a theory. Each of us has a Patron Saint of Risk. Every time you dare do something different—make more money, write a book, start a business—this benevolent cosmic being sends a flock of angels (disguised as negative people) to tell you what a dumb idea it is.
These naysayers serve a very important function. They come to test your level of commitment. If you notice, the more tentative you feel, the more pessimistic they sound.
If they succeed in discouraging you, be grateful. Deep down, you just didn’t have the moxie to make it work.
If on the other hand, you are determined to proceed despite the pessimists, you’re sure to succeed. Commitment is what keeps you going despite rejection, disappointment or failure.
In fact, to someone committed, failure doesn’t exist. It’s simply one more thing that didn’t work.
What’s frustrating, however, is when you vow to accomplish something but to no avail. Projects fall apart. People renege on promises. Opportunities dry up. Your enthusiasm wanes. What then?
This may be a sign you’re on the wrong track. When you’re attempting something at odds with your authentic desires, your resolve will fizzle at the first hurdle.
A few years back, I was determined to learn to ride a motorcycle. My husband, a Harley fanatic, has two in our garage. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could ride one alongside him?
But when I took a tumble on the first day of motorcycle class, that was it. Clearly I wasn’t committed. I was quite happy to ride on the back of my hubby’s bike, thank you very much.
When you find yourself perpetually thwarted with a project you’ve tackled, here’s my advice. Instead of beating yourself up or struggling mightily to make it work, step back and dig deeper.
Is this something I want so badly that I’m willing to fall down repeatedly until I finally succeed? Is this my soul’s yearning or simply an arbitrary ‘should’ I put on myself?
As D.H. Lawrence once advised: “If it doesn’t absorb you, if it isn’t fun, don’t do it!” Amen to that!
Check in with yourself—are there any projects in your life you should release? Leave me a comment below.