If I Knew I Could Not Fail…

If I knew I could not fail


I used to go to a women’s business group, and in one session we talked about writing down what we would do if we weren’t afraid of failure. At the time I just sort of took it on board as some sort of abstract theory that was probably fairly useful for … you know… goal setting or vision boarding or something else I never bothered to do.

More recently, I’ve been reading Your Best Year 2015: Productivity Workbook and Creative Business Planner by Lisa Jacobs. In the book, she says that doing this can be a really useful exercise for seeing what you really want. I like the idea of dreaming big, of writing down ridiculously outlandish, out-there wishes. After all, why the hell not? Why should we only dream of the things we have a hope of achieving? What if there were no limits, and we could succeed at anything we wanted to? What would we aim for then?

Here is my list of things I would do, if I knew I could not fail:

Write the Book!
Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to write a book. Shortly after the lowest point of my breakdown, I made a start on a memoir, and wrote around 40,000 words. My Timehop at the moment is filled with Facebook updates from four years ago, where I was keeping a running total of my wordcount. And then… I just sort of stopped. I’ve a feeling the project stalled right around the time I moved house, turned 30 and met S’s father.

These days, I can never find the time for writing a book – but more than that, what if I wrote it, and nobody read it? What if it was rubbish? What if I’m just incapable of writing more than 40,000 words? What if I sweated blood to create this massive life’s work of a masterpiece, and didn’t sell a single copy?

Set up the Business
I’ve had an idea for a business floating around my head for ages. Actually, there are a few floating about up there, and this one is not really a business so much as just a website. It has minimal overheads and the potential that you could just pack up and walk away without too much fuss, if it all went pear shaped. Part of what’s stopping me is that I need another person with whom to collaborate. And it needs to be a particular type of person, and they need to be as enthusiastic as I am about it. So far, that particular person has not made themselves known to me, but to be fair I’ve not really been actively asking around.

I think I’m scared of collaborating with someone and having them let me down, or me let them down. I’m scared that we could put in all the effort to set it up, and it be a complete waste of our time. It could be the least popular website in the history of crappy websites.

Speak Publicly About my Experiences
This one is a weird one; it’s something I’ve only thought about recently. I would like to be able to share my story with others… but whenever I speak out loud about certain things, my voice gets shaky. I get shaky. All through school, I would sit at the back of the class and hide behind whatever I could put in front of me (including my hair) to avoid being called on to speak. I have never been good at speaking in front of people; it petrifies me. I don’t even know what I’m scared of; I’m just scared. But I would still like to be able to do it. I have no idea how one even makes a start on such things, and am scared to find out in case I’m just laughed out of the room: “nobody wants to know all that bollocks!”

Write That Play
Last year a friend who runs a local theatre company asked me if I would write a short monologue for his company to perform as part of a group of them… I half-arsedly dashed something off, and when he came back with some notes I thought “I don’t have time to go through this and do a proper job now” and left it to one side “for later.” I think if I’m honest, I was afraid my writing wouldn’t be good enough to have someone stand up on stage in front of actual paying customers and recite it. It might get completely slated in reviews, if anyone even bothered to turn up and review it… and so on, and so forth.

Write More in General
I think if I knew I couldn’t fail at it, I would write a lot more than I do. I experience a lot of the old “writers’ block” that stems more from a fear that what I’m writing is no good, than anything else. The last couple of months I have been some sort of weird, manic ideas machine with all sorts of ideas for blog posts and businesses and books and what have you popping into my head – but I’ve probably only actioned about 20% of it. Some of that is time related, though if I’m honest I do waste a lot of time. Actually I think 99% of my time wasting is a fear of the unknown – if I finish this piece of work, I will have no work on. If I get on and finish this, I’ll have time to do that, and what if I do that and it’s a flop. I should probably “feel the fear and do it any way” but that one is very much easier said than done.

Approach a Radio Station
I really enjoy my weekly stint on Wave 105 doing 5 Things You Need to KnowIt’s good fun, and hopefully it’s something the audience enjoys too. I’d love to be able to do this on my local station, but also perhaps for a few other local stations too. I’m petrified of approaching them and being told to knob off though, or – worse – doing it, and being told “no, it’s crap. Get out!” In fact, what I’d really love is to do this sort of thing for several different areas and make it into its own blog/site. I’ve no idea if that’s a viable idea, and I’ve no idea how to find out – other than just doing it, which would be a trifle scary.

Buy a Camera
I take all of my photos on my (literaly) battered old smart phone. Just lately I’ve been really inspired by the photography work I’ve seen on other blogs, and have really wanted to buy a proper camera and have a go for myself. But a proper camera is a big outlay, and if I turned out to just be taking crappy photos with an expensive camera rather than a camera phone, I’d be really rather peeved. I would love to be able to take photos like some of the amazing ones I see in linkys every week. But right now I can blame my dodgy photography on my rubbish phone. If I had a proper camera I would have nobody else to blame for bad photos!


So those are my things… what are yours?

If you knew that you definitely could not fail, what would you do?


I would love to hear what you’ve had sitting at the back of your mind, poking fun at you because you’re too scared to do anything about it. What is it you dream of doing?

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Vicky is a single mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. You can find her blogging, business and social media tips at

  • Karen


    I can totally relate on the public speaking! I hate it and am terrified of it. The whole shaky voice, speaking too fast, sweaty hands...yikes! Having said that, though, I would encourage you to GO FOR IT! In my limited experience, the audience is actually more receptive to you because they can sense your discomfort. Most people can empathize and will encourage you. I know where I live many local volunteer groups seek out guest speakers for their monthly meetings. If you are speaking about a specific topic (i.e. depression), then look for support groups to approach. You can do it! If I could do anything without failing, what would I do? Anything and everything! Karen recently posted...Wipe Your Feet Elsewhere (I Am Not Your Doormat)
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    1. Vicky Charles


      Thanks Karen. I am doing a presentation at a local networking group in a couple of weeks so I'm hoping I can do that without crying or anything, then see if there's anything else I can do!

  • Lorna - It's a Mummy Thing


    That's quite a question! Building the website for my blog and writing it probably comes under this heading for me. I loved your answers and you should most definitely go for it! x #weekendbloghop Lorna - It's a Mummy Thing recently posted...8 Signs You Need a Date NightMy Profile

  • ruth@ mummy and the mexicans


    I share some of the same fears as you... I would also write more and try to write a book. I'm afraid my ideas aren't good enough or interesting enough. #WeekendBlogHop ruth@ mummy and the mexicans recently posted...52 Memories Project - Week 4My Profile

  • Lisa (mummascribbles)


    These are great - wouldn't it be great if we just knew we could succeed at something?! I really want a good camera although the phone is always with me!! My other half has written about 50000 words of a book and he just doesn't find time to continue! Life gets in the way so much doesn't it?! #weekendbloghop Lisa (mummascribbles) recently posted...Zach do it – the toddler independent streak!My Profile

    1. Vicky Charles


      That's exactly the thing! I find I'm so dealing with the day to day, I don't have time to start on the big things! I should give it a go though I think. Some of them at least!

  • Leigh - Headspace Perspective


    I love this, Vicky. We put so many limitations on ourselves. There's a quote that goes something like "shoot for the stars and you'll fall among the clouds..." I guess it means we should pretend we're not scared and just go for it - you just don't know what might happen...understand the public speaking part, it's a common fear, but don't forget you told your story live on national telly and were awesome! Go for it! xx #brilliantblogposts Leigh - Headspace Perspective recently posted...Everyone Should Know About Pre-Eclampsia and HELLP SyndromeMy Profile

  • You Baby Me Mummy


    Oh I love this! I am going to look at that book too. I have lots of similar thoughts to you. I need ideas for additional income, I would also love to collaborate with others on projects, just not sure in what form yet. I am sure it will all come out in the wash! I am kind of doing what I would do if I thought I couldn't fail now (only with the possibility of failure!) in being a professional blogger, since I resigned from my job due to PND. Fingers crossed it works out! Thanks for linking up to #TheList x You Baby Me Mummy recently posted...5 Things; That Make Mr Hubby My LobsterMy Profile

    1. Vicky Charles


      wow, it must be great (if a little scary) to be able to say you're doing the thing - the one that you never thought would be possible! I'm working on that one...

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