Failing with My Idealistic Visions – Were They Really Failures?
Why do I not “do things”?
This is a question I continue to ask myself on a regular basis. I tend to avoid doing the #1 or #2 thing I should be doing in favor of YouTube and other non-helpful things.
Is it because I’ve neurologically wired myself to believe I’m not capable of achieving the results I seek?
Is it because the grand visions I’ve had in the past fell short when I made the attempt?
Is it possible that through those grand visions and short-fallen attempts, that I wasn’t able to recollect myself and give it another go — and that’s the reason I’m unwilling to even take a single small step towards my pursuits today?
Have I essentially wired myself to believe that I’m not capable of achieving, and therefore my body and mind does everything it can to prevent me from actually trying – because it “knows” it will yield a failure?
“If I don’t try, then I can’t fail,” says the mind, subconsciously, based on those past “failures.”
But that’s not true. Because it’s not the full picture.
Of course my ambitious pursuits fell short.
Of course my results weren’t quite … perfect.
Of course things didn’t go as expected.
My vision was merely that: a vision. It wasn’t a tried-and-true roadmap that guaranteed success. Often times, it was an abnormal vision, a peculiar pursuit, an unconventional route — befittingly “weird,” as the theme for me has been.
So it’s no surprise that my results in reality didn’t match an idealistic vision that I had. In hindsight I can’t expect my results to perfectly match my vision, because there are infinitely more variables than I could have even anticipated. There’s no way I could have predicted that one person I didn’t even know at the time could alter the entire trajectory of my vision.
“Because my visions don’t come out perfect” is no reason not to try and reach for that idealistic goal in the first place.
If I gave it an honest moment of thought, I come to the conclusion that my idealistic visions DID generate results, even if they weren’t perfect or not quite what I had expected.
The progress I made was technically more than when I started. It challenged me in a beneficial way. I learned new things. I made new friends. And above all: I had accomplished SOMETHING.
Unfortunately, for a long time I have been tricking myself into believing that my efforts were fruitless because I wasn’t able to create the entire vision that I had. Those pursuits, however, were not fruitless.
In fact, some of my most memorable “failures” are actually, in hindsight, some of my best accomplishments.
For now the scenarios that come to mind are the gaming guilds and online communities I’ve corralled in the past. My visions for those communities were often idealistic, but I wasn’t always capable of bringing my full vision to reality.
At times I got close. Others I gave up early on. Often times I got stuck in the middle. But I’m learning that they are not necessarily failures, but rather stepping stones and learning experiences.
One of the most humbling thoughts about my experience in those communities is that people joined not because I asked them to, but because they saw the vision I had, the principles I shared, the values I held close — and they wanted to be a part of it. The fact that it was different is what helped others to connect to me and others in the community who shared similar values and beliefs. And it’s crazy to think about, but it’s by putting those visions out there, that I was able to create something very real – experiences, friendships, and memories.
Things I learned in one community helped to catapult the next into an even greater group of people. And the next one gave me more self awareness about what I truly wanted. And another gave me (and this gives me chills) the courage to start one of my newest communities/projects, which simultaneously involves tackling some of my biggest fears to date.
I have to remind myself that just because those past communities didn’t hit the “peak” of their particular vision at the time, it doesn’t automatically mean that they are a failure. They helped to shape ME in a way that’s giving me more skills, experience, and connections to become more efficient at bringing my newer (and arguably more ambitious) visions to reality.
The challenge I face now is relearning a lot of what I learned online and bringing it into a physical and tangible context in local communities. To be able to bring the skill sets and confidence from my online experiences to the physical world.
I merely have to stay the course; failure or not, putting one step forward is what gets me there, whether “there” is where I first anticipated it to be or not.
I have to keep pursuing those idealistic visions, because they are what excite me and pull me towards something larger and more amazing than what my current reality is. And I have to remember not to stop or slow down simply because things aren’t taking the shape I expected: it can be a GOOD thing that they’re not, when it means a result that’s not only tangible and real, but potentially more amazing than the original vision was.
Rather than looking at how things didn’t pan out like I hoped, I can ask myself these questions instead:
What’s the big vision in my life right now?
What do I want to start or build on today?
What’s a small step I can do right now that will bring me a step closer and create progress towards my idealistic visions?
Stay the course, even when reality deviates from that once grand vision — yes, fight for that vision if it calls you to, but stay open to the possibility that the real, tangible results of today can help to direct you towards something even greater than your initial vision.
Not all “failures” are a loss.
Keep chipping away,
Keep making progress,
Keep building towards that vision.