I have a game on my phone that I play a lot called Basketball Shot. Basically, you flick the ball in the hoop as fast as you can, and try to score as many points possible in a set time period. Each level has a score you have to beat to advance.
Well, being the geek that I am, I pretty much figured out early on that you want to pad your score as much as possible in the early stages, because as the game progresses, there is less time, but you still have to meet that level’s score. So, I have benchmarks set that I have to meet in each of the first three stages. If I don’t meet them, I reset the game and try again.
A couple of days ago, as I was about to reset the game for probably the tenth time, it hit me. I’m addicted to do-overs. If things don’t go well when I first start them, I either chuck the whole project and start again, or more in my nature, I move on to something else. Another way of looking at it — if it’s too hard, I look for something easier. Something I know I can accomplish without even trying.
I cannot tell you how many opportunities I’ve missed because of this mindset, and I’d bet you’ve fallen victim to it as well.
- Have you ever seen an ad for a job that you would love to have, but one of the qualifications would take you out of your comfort zone, so you didn’t apply?
- Have you ever turned down a writing gig because it would require you to do something you’ve never done before (interview a client, cold call business, write in a style format you didn’t know)?
- Talked yourself out of doing something you really wanted to do because it might require a risk of some sort (relocation, pushing other work to the side, others might gripe about it)?
Sure, you had your reasons for why you walked way from these opportunities, but were they good reasons?
So, I’ve decided: No more do-overs. No more walking away from opportunities because of fear of the unknown, or because it might be hard or I might fail.
In my head, the only real way to fail is to not even try, or worse, to try and give up because of what might happen. This is no longer acceptable.
I decided several years ago that, I was really only going to pursue things that made me happy. I guess I should have included the caveat that some of these things might be hard, but to go ahead and do them anyway. But I guess its never too late to change ones life philosophy.
So, no more do-overs or resets for me. I will do my first three stages as well as I can, and play the game out to its natural conclusion. If I win, great, if I don’t, at least I can say I stayed in the game til the end.