There’s an important line of self talk before you embark on a new project. The first part of it is acknowledging “This might not work.” And, the second part is saying “And that’s okay.”
This might not work is the acknowledgment that what we’re doing is an experiment. And, experiments may or may not work. “Might” is the key word in that phrase. “Might” acknowledges that tension that requires us to have the courage to dare, to go out on a limb.
But, “this might not work” alone is incomplete. “And that’s okay” is a key half of the puzzle. It requires us to have the confidence to look the “might” in the eye and say – “I’ll be fine.” It asks us to accept that troubles, when they appear, will pass – like water under a bridge.
This complete phrase has a liberating effect. It tells us that we are a lot more than what we do. It helps us grasp the difference between states and feelings. We can feel the disappointment of a defeat and, yet, be content, happy even. We might feel the joy of victory but, yet, enjoy the equanimity.
Rudyard Kipling, in his wonderful poem, “If” said –
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If, indeed. It is the sort of game changer that makes it worth a try.
This might not work. And that’s okay.
HT: Seth, for introducing me to “This might not work.”