#10: The only failure is not trying
The Hardergrat trail (Brienz - Interlaken), Switzerland
All I can say is that out of pure arrogance, I didn’t believe all the reviews that talked about how one wrong missed step would surely lead to you falling off the side of the cliff and that you had to be super mentally diligent. While I couldn't classify it all as being dangerous, you certainly had to focus.. with every single step you took.
You can’t tell really from the pictures, because there were only a few spots where I felt safe enough to stop and take pictures, but you are walking along the top of the ridge from one city to another… on a tiny little ridge that only allowed for one foot in front of the other. The total hike is about 12 miles, up and down these ridges… and up the ridge… and down the ridge…
Then of course in some parts, you’re having to climb with hands and feet up the side of these ridges to get back up to the top and good gracious was it mentally exhausting to feel like you are one wrong step away from taking a tumble down a steep mountain where you probably wouldn’t stop until you hit the bottom… or a tree.
Now while on each side of you was insane turquoise blue water, mountains for miles and gorgeous views anywhere the eye could see, you really couldn’t look at the surroundings and walk at the same time.
After about 6 miles, and a couple falls when I was going downhill and hit some mud, I decided to call it quits, bail out on a different trail and head back.
Am I kicking myself slightly for not finishing? Yes (but only because the route I decided to bail out on was probably worse than just finishing.)
But am I so incredibly glad and proud of myself for getting as far as I did, on such a beautiful day, with such an incredible hike? Absolutely.
Will I do it again and finish the whole thing? Absolutely!
Now think about work and life:
Is there an area of your life where you don’t even want to try because you are afraid to fail?
Is there a conversation you need to have with someone that is terrifying but necessary for growth?
Is there a new business venture you have always wanted to start?
Is there a hobby you have always wanted to pick up?
I would challenge you to take the leap and just try.
If you “fail”, it’s just teaching you some lessons you needed to learn, in this season to prepare you for something better.
The only real failure is never trying in the first place.