Attitude is everything. No matter our circumstances, our attitudes have the ability to shape outcomes. Attitudes can limit us or they can open up new realms of possibility. Adopting an “I dunno, but I’ll try” attitude has helped me learn to do everything from buttoning buttons on my shirt to using Maya to build 3D models. To this day, continuing to practice this way of thinking has taught me three very important lessons.
1.) The words “I Can’t” Should Not Be In Your Vocabulary
The quickest way for anyone to become disabled is giving up before trying to do something. My mom drilled this lesson into my head as a child. As I’ve progressed throughout my life, I have seen countless examples of how people can disable themselves by vocalizing what they “can’t” do. “Can’t” makes it easy for people to become stuck in the same cycles or limited ways of thinking that keep them from trying something new. The phrase “I can’t” is an excuse and “excuses are tools of the incompetent that build monumental bridges to nowhere. ”
In everything we do, we have to try. Babies must try to walk countless times before they actually take their first successful steps. Michael Jordan had to miss plenty of shots and lose tons of balls while dribbling before he ascended to his level of greatness. Anytime we are faced with a new challenge (read: opportunity), we have to realize that we may not get it perfect the first time. What matters, is the willingness to try. That willingness to try is what separates those who “do” from those who “don’t”. So remove the words “I can’t” from your vocabulary because the truth is… you won’t know unless you try.
2.) You Must Be Willing to Learn
You have to be willing to learn in order to take on new opportunities. Learning requires effort and a willingness to try. Approaching a new challenge with the “I dunno, but I’ll try” attitude is a commitment to maintaining a humble mindset and willingness to learn. It is a promise to remain malleable. This doesn’t always mean you have to learn as you go. It may mean seeking out a mentor, researching more about the challenge or opportunity you are embarking upon, or seeking out those who may have faced a similar challenge. The goal is to always remain humble enough to learn. Whether we learn directly from the experience or someone providing insight…we must keep an open mind. Learning is what makes facing new challenges and experiencing new opportunities worthwhile.
3.) You May Fail Or You May Succeed…Either Outcome Removes Uncertainty
Yes, there is always the chance that you may fail when trying something new. It takes courage to fail. However, IF you fail but are passionate about the challenge or opportunity then you’ll do it better the next time. And the time after that. And the time after that. Remember, a constant dedicated effort can allow us to master any challenge placed before us.
After trying, you may decide something is not for you. If it isn’t, the challenge or opportunity will have provided you with an opportunity to learn something new. In either case, trying increases your exposure to new ways of thinking. New ways of thinking provide a broader spectrum with which to solve problems and engage people allowing us to become more well-rounded.
So the next time life asks you to rise to the challenge…. square your shoulders, hold your head high, face the uncertainty, and TRY! You’ll thank yourself later.