Have you ever experienced crushing defeat?
There’s a definite difference between regular old defeat, which still isn’t fun, and soul crushing defeat. Defeat occurs on a regular basis. You fail a test, you mess up a proposal at work, you made a fool of yourself, you sung a wrong note. Soul crushing defeat is worse. It might be those very same circumstances, but your heart was involved.
You desperately needed a pass and you’d put everything into that assignment. Soul Crushing Defeat. You messed upon a proposal at work that you’d spent hours and hours on and it means you won’t get that promotion. Soul Crushing Defeat. You made a fool of yourself and went out on a limb with that special someone. Soul Crushing Defeat. You sung a wrong note in front of hundreds of people who laughed. Soul Crushing Defeat.
This is the worst kind of pain. When you’re brought so close to something that means so much to you – only to have it flop and turn into icky mess. You were so sure that God had whispered to you that this was finally your moment – you walked right up to the doorway and you were about to step into your dream and the door got slammed in your face. You were so close to the dream that the door kind of pinches you on the nose and throws you backwards. You’re left a little bit (or a lot) broken and crumpled on the floor and getting up seems like the hardest thing, let alone trying again.
There’s a very fine and awkward line between Hope and a Broken Heart. Hope means opening yourself up to the possibility of defeat, to the very real possibility of a broken heart.
However, the line between Fear and Eternal Disappointment is also fine. In fact it’s barely a line at all. I want to shudder when I hear quotes like ‘You miss 100% of the shots you never take’, but it’s actually true. You will never get what you want if you are always afraid. If you never took a chance.
I can promise you, from very real and personal experience, that taking risks can mean failure. It can mean defeat, even soul crushing defeat. But everything important in life is worth a risk. It’s worth trying. It’s worth a little defeat. It’s worth putting yourself out there. Don’t be afraid of hope. Don’t be afraid of a broken heart. Don’t be afraid.