On September 11th, 2001, I lost a lot of friends in the horrendous terrorist attack on the World Trade Center buildings in New York City. It was a tough time to conquer for those who knew individuals lost, the families affected, and a nation grieving the tragedy.
It was this event and the result of it that caused many to reassess life and what we wanted to do with it, including myself. On the first anniversary of 9/11, I found myself on the summit of Mt. Rainer in the Cascade Mountains located in Washington state.
I wanted to do something that I always pondered doing, but always found an excuse not to. September 11th, 2001 changed that for me; I was determined to go and accomplish something I had no idea at the time if I’d be good at it or achieve what it was that I was pursuing.
I had never scaled a mountain – skied down one, sure! But climb up one? Not at all. But now was the time I told myself. I went out and did the training and work necessary to face my fear and climb to the top of a mountain. Nearly 20 years later I have climbed many mountains across the world and consider it to be one of my greatest passions.
Now, I’m not suggesting your goal is to climb an actual mountain; however, make this the year to find your proverbial mountain to climb. Challenge yourself to conquer fear of failure, disappointment, discouragement, etc. as it pertains to your selected goal(s). There’s one thing I’ve learned scaling some of the largest mountains on the planet – there is no failure, only feedback.
If we’re not willing to try something and fail, then we aren’t going to grow and reach our true potential. Consider who you’re going to be when on the eve of 2020. How different will you be? That will be determined by the things you experience and choose to face between now and then. Success isn’t and shouldn’t be determined by how many mistakes you avoid; instead, it will manifest itself from learning, growing, improving – all things that suggest not being perfect or stagnant.
Instead of asking yourself, “would what I do if I could not fail?” anticipate mistakes, embrace setbacks and take them as learning opportunities necessary for success. Don’t limit yourself this year. Seriously consider how you can exceed your own expectations and how you can help others exceed their expectations.