Failure: there’s really no need to be an ass about it

There’s a good chance you’ll screw it all up, you know.

It could all go horribly wrong.

It’s daring, this thing you long to do. Unheard of in your own life.

Laden with risk. Crawling with goblins.

There are countless opportunities to tumble.

You could choose to not do it. That might keep you safe.

Not doing is always an option. Always.

But here’s a thought: what if you did the thing, with one condition?

I promise not to be an ass to myself if it all goes wrong.

Hmm? What then?

See also: Be a safe place to land.



  1. Briana

    Love! Brilliant condition. It reminds me of my very favorite Lisa-ism from Take That Nap. (Which I won’t spoil for everyone who has yet to enjoy it, but is something to do with having myself in my own back pocket.)

    Yesss! Heading off to be less of an ass to myself right now. xoxo

  2. C. Fassett

    Excellent! My thoughts exactly :D. I love your site!

  3. Steve M

    Inspirational first thing on a Thursday morning (full of possibilities) – thank you.

  4. Michelle Russell

    Funny, I don’t have goblins, but I have recently discovered that I’ve got a little orc following me around who reaches up and tugs at the bottom of my shirt every time I think about risky entrepreneurial stuff. His name is Tam, which stands for “time-and-money”–my two biggest fears/challenges around going out on this particular limb.

    I wonder what will happen if I include Tam in the promise? Will he be satisfied with my promise not to treat him like an ass, or not? Hmm.

  5. creativevoyage

    Michelle I think TAM may have a younger sibling!

  6. Elizabeth

    When I think of goblins, I think of Gollum (not sure if he’s a goblin but that’s the image I get) and that makes me smile.

    This makes me feel a little more spacious and hopeful. Tucking it into my heart-pocket.

  7. David Ashton

    Glad I wandered onto your blog. I’ve only been writing for a few months and the goblins don’t seem to be going away any time soon. Guess you just have to ignore them. Not writing seems to be becoming less and less an option. Besides, the goblins would just find something else to pick on…. Thanks for your post.

  8. Ken

    This is a great one. Especially the last two lines.

  9. Anne McKinnell

    Thank you for this. I am guilty of being an ass to myself for failing. I am going to remember this the next time I ask myself “why do I even try?”

  10. Henry Lee

    Thanks for the words of Zen.

    There might very well be another simple six-word mantra: “I will not be an ass”, which goes along with “Can’t fear fear, fear’s the mindkiller.”

  11. dahlila

    Perfect timing. :-)
    I, dahlila, promise not to be an ass to myself if it fails.

    And yes, then what?

    And then I’ll try something else new.

  12. BDOC

    Beautiful. I love this. I think I’m going to make a print of it. Something great to have hanging on my wall.

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  14. pamela

    Wow. I love this. Thank you! I have such a fear of failure and your words just gave me another breath. Love your blog!


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