Some years ago, I was graduating from college and getting ready to move to France to live for the foreseeable future. I had been looking forward to this new adventure for months, but as the departure date drew nearer, I began to think more about whether I was “ready”. I was far from fluent in French, an fancy omelet was about the extent of my repertoire in the kitchen, and I would basically be all alone without a safety net on the other side of the world from everything (and everyone) I knew.
It’s easy to get discouraged when embarking on a new (ad)venture if you focus on the potential for failure.
What if I fall flat on my face?
Here’s the thing: It is impossible to fail.
Things will not always go as expected, but that does not automatically equate to failure, it simply means that we are not good at predicting the future.
I can think of numerous times when things did not go according to plan, but I cannot recall a single instance where it was not possible to change the plan.
Changing directions is not failure.
Adapting to the realities of a situation is not failure.
The point: A new adventure will never end like you think it will. Accept that and be ready to change gears.
And France? When the date came, I still wasn’t sure if I was ready, but I took the first step, and the airplane did the rest. A lot happened that was not expected, but that was the best thing I could have hoped for. My French improved tremendously, I learned to cook, and by being alone on the other side of the world, I learned more about myself and my potential.
I literally could not have imagined a more amazing experience.
There is one way that failure is not only possible, but guaranteed: if you quit.