When I worked at Women’s Executive Network (WXN), I managed Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 program. The first thing we did was send a questionnaire to the nominees, who were executives, athletes, media personalities, professionals, politicians and entrepreneurs, asking them to answer several questions.
This question always brought out the most interesting answers from these very accomplished women. It’s engraved on the paperweight I have on my desk right in front of me, as a reminder:
What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
It’s amazing how much you can learn about a person by reading their answer to this question. It requires you to put aside your fears. Put aside your inhibitions. Your self-doubt. It beckons you to spread your mental wings. To think beyond today, to colour outside the lines. To truly explore your essential wants and needs. Think about what would truly fulfill you.
This question invites your vulnerability and acknowledges the leap of faith you would have to make to achieve this. We know there’s no such guarantee in life. But I believe the point of this question is to ask you to examine whether you are fulfilled, what it would take to truly fulfill you and to expose the vulnerability in everything we attempt as humans. There are no guarantees. But without courage, there is no growth.
Truly thinking through the answer to this question can be life-changing. Perhaps it’s time to explore the gap between your reality and what you truly would like to do/be…
If you have the courage, share your answer to this question in the comments below. It will open you up to so many possibilities.
Cindy Goldrick, Senior Associate, Armstrong Strategy Group