Go Ahead, Set Yourself Up For Failure

April 10, 2010

Ever been so terrified of failure that you drove yourself to success?

You may have been onto something.

If you’re the type that is occasionally motivated by fear, it’s time to manipulate that fear to your advantage.  Try one of the following experiments, or use these to brainstorm your own:

Looking to drop some weight?  Find a 5K in your area and register for it today.  Then train like a beast so you don’t come across the finish line last.

Always wanted to write a play but could never shut the TV off long enough to do it?  Email five friends today and ask them to come to your place next week to read a play you’re writing.  Then kill the tube and start typing.

Lift weights but unable to bust through to the next level?  Find a bodybuilding competition coming to a town near you and sign up today.  The very thought of standing next to some seriously ripped physiques should get you sweating again.

Want to cook like Julia but all you know is Ramen?  Stop what you’re doing and invite a dozen friends over next month for a dinner party hosted by you.  Then go out and find some cooking classes, pronto.

Studying a martial art but you’ve plateaued?  Seek out a competition coming to your area and register for it today.  Get better or get beaten.

Of course, if the very thought of failure makes you neurotic, miserable, and unhappy, then you’re better off examining your fears instead of amplifying them.  But for those who don’t mind being driven by a healthy dose of fear, this technique can pay serious dividends.

So go ahead, set yourself up for failure.  You just might scare yourself into a new world.

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