Have you ever heard the phrase “failing with honor”? When you fail with honor, it means “Well I didn’t succeed, but I still feel pretty good about it.”
This sounds like a noble ideal. There is definitely honor in accepting failure and learning from it. However, the concept of “failure with honor” has some hidden meanings. Let me explain.
Do you remember the famous scene in “Star Wars” when Yoda says, “Do or do not—there is no try”?
What was Yoda really saying? What does it mean to not try, but to do?
During my coaching sessions, I hear the word “try” a lot. Clients will often say to me, “Oh, Bill I am trying so hard to change. I really am trying.”
Take a moment and try this exercise—put a pen on ground and then try to pick it up. Go ahead, set the book aside and try it.
If you still have your pen in your hand, you haven’t followed the instructions. I don’t want you to actually pick it up—I just want you to try. Does this make sense?
Trying is code for not doing. It’s an excuse, an illusion, and a mental block that stymies progress. If you are someone who “tries” to do something, you likely also say things like, “Probably I’ll get it,” “Maybe I’ll get it,” or “Well, sometimes I can get it and other times I can’t.”
All of these comments are really saying, “Half of me is moving forward; half of me isn’t. Part of me is doing, part of me isn’t. I’m trying.”
This is what it means to “fail with honor,” and the only way you can move forward is to reverse this pattern. I want you to be able to wake up tomorrow and take off like a rocket ship, but first you need to eliminate this psychology from your databank forever.