“If you don’t mind, I would like an opportunity to succeed.” When was the last time you recalled making that statement? Can you imagine a child coming home from school and saying to their parents, “Mom, Dad, I was wondering if it would be okay with you if I went back to school tomorrow and excelled in all of my classes.” That is almost unheard of. In all my experiences, I do not ever recall hearing someone ask for permission to succeed.
The converse is equally unimaginable. When the football team is trailing by a point in the fourth quarter with two seconds left on the clock, the field goal kicker doesn’t run up to the coach and say, “Coach, give me a shot. I would love the opportunity to run out there in front of 100,000 people and fail.” Regardless of how insurmountable the odds appear, it is highly unlikely that the kicker approaches the coach and presents an air of doubt. People do not request permission to succeed; neither do they ask for permission to fail.
People do, on more occasions than one can count, request permission to try. “Give me a shot.” “Let me have a go at it.” “It’s my turn now.” “If it is okay with you, can I give it a try?” All that one can ask for is the opportunity to give it their very best. Win, lose or draw – all they want is a chance. Everyday, people accept the risks of failure in exchange for experiencing the joys of succeeding. Although failure can precede trying, success never will. One has to try before they will succeed. When one has properly prepared, trying is the only path that leads to success.
Abraham Lincoln has been quoted with the saying, “I will prepare and someday my opportunity will come.” So often, people prepare in the shadows, rehearsing when no one is looking, hoping that one day that someone will let them try. It would be great if everyone possessed the confidence to go in and ask for permission to try but we have FEAR to make sure that doesn’t happen. We have insecurity to hold up barriers that keep people from stepping up to the plate.
Criticism and negativity are constant companions for the person who believes in him or herself but who has always stayed in the background because they were afraid of being rejected.
It is time to rise up out of obscurity. If no one else is willing to turn on the spotlights, take courage and flip the switch yourself. After you have counted the cost and decided that you are willing to pay the price, ask for permission. And remember – permission to try is permission to fail. But permission to fail is permission to succeed.