The Courage to Try

There’s no such thing as try. Simply do.

Don’t tell me about how hard you tried. Show me what you’ve done!

We’ve all heard these mantras and understand the point.  People are measured and rewarded by results more than effort; by outcome more than initiative.

But for many, the initiative to even try gets buried under layers of fear.

Fear of failure.

Fear of disapproval.

Fear of rejection.

For many, there is a deep and often unnavigable chasm between ideas and action — a powerful force of resistance that disables, rather than enables, threatening to drown out our voice, our dreams and our productivity.

To ‘try’ is to believe in what’s possible…what can be versus what is.  It’s believing enough in oneself to risk an uncertain outcome, while opening ourselves to growth in the process.  On the continuum of personal empowerment, trying is a critical first step before one can actually achieve.

Yesterday I heard Sara Blakely, founder of SPANX, speak at the Forbes 2013 Most Powerful Women Summit.  The youngest self-made female billionaire in history, Sara launched her undergarment business with only $5,000 in savings.  But what she lacked in money, she made up for in spirit — a powerful vision, personal resiliency and the courage to try.

Growing up, Sara’s father would ask her, “So what did you fail at today?”  Perhaps unconventional to some (though effective nonetheless), Sara was not chastised for failing to achieve a particular outcome, but failing to try; for failing to stretch and step out of her comfort zone and into her growth.

When asked what advice she has for other women, Sara replied, “Be willing to fail big. Failure is not the outcome; failure is not trying.”

When was the last time your willingness to fail was bigger than your fear of trying?  Do YOU have the courage to try?

Photo courtesy of Apalapala via Flickr
Photo courtesy of Apalapala via Flickr

Women:  If you have a powerful story of empowerment to share, please visit the Global Girls Project.  We’d love to hear from you!

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