Sometimes Things Don’t Go as Planned

You may be a doer (you know I love doers, happen to be one myself) and if you are, you may find yourself at risk of finding yourself in awkward situations resulting from your tendency to do a thing (rather than just sit around and talk about it, like other folks).

We all have to deal with fear of the unknown whenever encountering a new opportunity in uncharted territory. While some people allow this fear to overtake them, some of us rise to the challenge, muster up as much courage as possible and forge a new path through an unfamiliar terrain.

While many onlookers watch us in amazement doing things like nobody’s business, they are thinking or caught saying things, like

Wow, I wish I could do that

Or alternatively

Whoa, I’m glad that’s not me

Depending on the circumstance.

sometimes-things-dont-go-as-planned-swing-batter-batter-swing
Swing batter-batter, swing!

It’s not unlike a batting average. You have to swing at a lot of balls to hit a few out’a the park. The more you swing, the more you are going to totally miss. Some will be good base hits, and a few will be home runs.

Regardless of your confidence level, if you keep swinging, your chances are you will do one of two things

You will achieve a level of success or competence

Or

You will learn something and do things differently next time

Of course, there will be those who will internalize the circumstance, fueled with self-doubt will bail out of the game altogether; never to play again because they believe they were better off not having tried at all.

Nonetheless, there are those moments when things do tend to get awkward, or embarrassing. Not just in business, as we tend to apply these very same stormtrooper methods to other areas of life also.

All the while, our friends continue to look on in amazement, uttering those very same lines, “Wow, I wish I could do that,” or, “Whoa, I’m glad that’s not me.”

Being the doer that I am, I have a laundry list of faux pas that could fuel a career as a stand-up comic, though I remain focused on my personal mission and message. So, I’m more likely to find myself staying on track, rather than try my muster at the local comedy club. But, it is great fun and entertainment to swap stories with other doers who have similar tales to tell.

Although, I’m tempted to relate a few of those stories here for your amusement, I don’t really see any value in memorializing the most awkward or embarrassing moments of my personal and/or professional life. Suffice it to say, that no one who is gathering enough courage to go where no man has gone before (or, at least where the individual has never been before) is likely to do so without dealing with challenges, obstacles or unforeseen occurrences, only to find themselves thinking, “Well,

“That’s not the way I planned it.”

How could anyone have known?

Okay, maybe a little more due diligence may have avoided this or that. Maybe a better background check might have been warranted. Maybe projections were off, finances could have been handled better, packaging or branding should have received more attention, and what is it they say about location, location, location?

The list goes on and on… because hindsight is always 20/20. And this is how we learn.

Sometimes all the education, practicing and planning in the world cannot adequately prepare you for that moment, when you’re staring down the pitcher, noting the position of all the other players on the field. Bases are loaded as you wind-up… It all comes down to this.

Crack!

That ball travelling at 80 MPH lands smack dab in the pitcher’s mitt.

It happens.

Just as Tennyson wrote, “Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all,”

it-is-better-to-have-tried-and-failed-than-never-to-have-tried-at-all

It is better to have tried and failed, than never to have tried at all.

This is the most common regret of those approaching this life’s exit point: “If only I’d…”

Don’t let this be you.

Dare to do that thing, and…

Don’t quit.

Fear of Failure

I work with people every day (and have every day of my adult life) who second-guess themselves. Even you, reading these words right now; you have a dream… Something you want so bad you can taste it… but something keeps you from reaching out to grab what is already yours.

Fear of failure

I can tell you, right now, the only thing that is holding you back is fear of failure (atychiphobia). Fear of failure is the reason that most people (19 out of 20) do not pursue what is rightfully theirs.

Why do I boldly say, “what is rightfully yours?” Because Thought is Precognitive. That is to say, if you have the idea, you have the right to see its fulfillment; if you can overcome your fear and take action.

Certainly there are many methods to overcome fear and build courage, just as Uncle Albert (Einstein) is quoted as saying, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” Which means that you must be willing and able to do what needs to be done, even if it’s not perfect or may fail altogether, to get what you want.

You learn far more from a strikeout than a home run. Innovation (doing something that has never been done before) comes from trying something in a way that might not work (so, there is some element of risk).

You must be willing to

#1 Take Action

and to do so, even if it means that you must

#2 Be Willing to Fail

Here are some things that can help to bridge the gap between the fear and the satisfaction that comes from doing the very thing that once intimidated you.

Visualize

Just like Edison’s light bulb (he saw it in his mind’s eye as being already completed) and after many attempts (1,000) the light bulb became a reality. You must visualize before you materialize. So, make a vision board, and utilize the gift of your imagination to see it in its completion, as if it is already done.

Dig Down

Sometimes its good to spend some time introspectively to see if you can uncover those things that exist inside of you that may be impeding your progress. Keep in mind, the deeper you dig, you could discover programming that goes all the way back to your earliest childhood. When you uncover these nasty weeds that are choking out your potential harvest, pull them out – roots and all. You may realize, when you find them, that they were silly in the first place, yet served their purpose to give you a sense of safety and security in those formulative years.

Create a Map

Make a map delineating where you are and where you want to be (your completed goal). Make sure to note all the towns you must go through (smaller goals or milestones between here and there) on the way to your destination. The more mile markers you can pass between here and there, the closer you are to what you want.

Remove the Fear

If you’re still feeling the fear, embrace it, then eliminate its emotional impact. Using your imagination, increase your fear, hesitation and anxiety to as high a level as you possibly can, then use the Penny for Your Thoughts routine to remove the emotional component.

What if I Fail?

Fail Forward

Stop looking at “failure” as failures. Look at them as stepping-stones, but give them all the honor and value they deserve. For instance, ask yourself these questions:

#1 What was the blessing?

Sometimes the interruption of your progress, changes your direction to something far better, other times (though you may only realize it later) you were able to circumvent a potential catastrophe. See the blessing.

#2 What did I learn?

You can learn far more from a failed attempt than a wildly successful endeavor that comes easily. Look for the Return On Failure. What were the (sometimes hidden) secrets that you now possess, having not succeeded in the manner that you anticipated?

#3 How can I do it better?

Armed with the knowledge of potential pitfalls (due to your own personal experience) what can you do the next go-round to make sure that the same outcome does not repeat itself.

Sometimes people ask me what I am afraid of? Regardless, I push-through to

Be Willing to Make Mistakes

I like to say,

“I make mistakes but I don’t make the same one twice.
I make new ones.”

This creates the necessary momentum to keep moving forward.