Workshop and seminar leaders, Little League coaches and life coaches, parents and priests. What do they possibly have in common?
My guess is that at some point or the other they may have asked someone, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”
They ask this question in an attempt to figure out goals and dreams. To understand where someone might be holding themselves back out of fear of failing. To inspire.
All well and good.
The amazing, inspiring Brené Brown, though, asks the question in a powerful and different way.
She asks, “What’s worth failing for?”
I mean, really. Brené nails it. That is one piercing question.
So, let me ask you: What are you willing to stand up for? What are you willing to use your voice for?
Regardless of the consequences?
What do you love enough to risk everything for?
I ask it that way because I know myself and if my kids were ever threatened, I’d put myself between them and harm’s way in a nanosecond.
It comes down to this, then: Love is absolutely worth failing for.
Because I love so deeply and passionately about what’s happening in our world, I am conscious that I must my voice to say the things that need to be said. I am willing to put myself out there even if people disagree with me.
(And as an aside – disagreement doesn’t need to mean the end of a relationship. In fact, disagreement can bring people closer together as they grow to understand each other. Remember that next time you get in a Twitter war, will you?)
You may find this hard to believe, but there was a time in my life when I swallowed my words because I felt as though there was going to be a tough consequence if I spoke up. It was only after I was clear of this situation that I realized the toll silence took on me. And I felt the relief and coming-home-ness which came from learning to use my voice again.
When you look at things not from a vantage point of “how can I make sure I don’t lose?” but from the “what am I willing to lose for?” things change.
Even in the face of sure loss.
Even when things are tough.
Even when you know you are not going to win.
When you show up as yourself, put it out there, own it, love it…you’ve already won.
And whatever happens next doesn’t even matter.