Think of an important goal you wish you could achieve.
Something that really intimidates you. Something that you haven’t begun working towards because it challenges your comfort zone.
That could be…
Getting a job (or a better job). Making more friends. Getting in shape. Writing a book. Or meeting more women – both in-person and online.
So why haven’t you taken any steps to reach that goal?
Whenever you undertake a new endeavor that makes you feel vulnerable, your mind runs wild trying to talk you out of it. Your self-doubt becomes deafening and all you can think about are the worst possible scenarios.
This usually plays out in a series of hypothetical “Am I doomed?” questions. Sometimes you ask them to yourself and sometimes you reach out to me.
“Why should I even apply to this job…won’t I just be rejected?”
“What if girls don’t like me because I’m too short/overweight/ugly?”
“Will I be a loser at online dating because I’m Asian/Indian/Muslim?”
“What if I ask her out and she says no?”
You’re looking for the answers before you’ve even taken action.
Why does a guaranteed outcome change your desire to achieve your goal? More importantly…
What other choice do you have?
Be broke or stuck in a dead job? Stay “forever alone”? Settle for the first person who shows you interest even if they’re not a good fit?
That’s the quickest way to a life of misery and self-loathing. And it just doesn’t make any sense.
I know you’re afraid of putting yourself out there and failing.
But if you don’t even try, there’s a 0% chance you’ll get the results you desire. It’s the old Wayne Gretzky quote, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” You’re the one ensuring your own failure.
What you’re really doing is protecting your ego.
If you don’t see yourself actively failing, you can stay in denial. You can make excuses to justify why you didn’t take the shot. You can avoid judgment. And you feel in control of your failure because you didn’t give someone else the opportunity to reject you.
You’d rather pat yourself on the back and believe that you could have won. There’s still that hope.
For some of you, you’ll just beat yourself up instead. You’ll constantly tell yourself you’re not good enough and that you’ll always be a loser.
And what, exactly, is any of that doing for you? Is it bringing you any closer to your goals? Is it making you happier?
You’re thinking short term. This is not a productive strategy and you’re setting yourself up for much more pain in the long run.
Do you think your needs are just going to away? They won’t. Do you think you can ignore them or push them away for the rest of your life? You can’t.
You may protect yourself from failure in the short term by not trying, but it won’t last. Eventually, regret and a lack of fulfillment will always win out. And in 1, 10, or 20 years from now, the only person who has to deal with it is you.
Here’s something reassuring though…
I have an option that guarantees success.
Start now and take as many shots as you possibly can! Then take some more — they don’t run out.
Because whenever you take a chance and it doesn’t work, you still ALWAYS win. You’re gaining something, even if it’s not obvious to you in the moment.
The sense of loss or embarrassment is all in your head. This is the strategy which puts you on the path to personal happiness.
- Learn a lesson or receive feedback to refine your approach for next time.
- Gain a reference experience that reinforces you’ll be okay and it wasn’t that bad.
- Develop emotional resilience for future situations.
- Discover alternative methods that are more effective and efficient.
- Feel a sense of accomplishment that you took action regardless of what happened.
- Form a habit of challenging your comfort zone.
This is how you build a strong mind and create opportunities to help achieve your goals.
So please show up. Pursue your passions and ambitions tirelessly. And never accept defeat.
It’s the only logical choice you have.