Do You Have The Courage To Answer This One Question- And Share It?

This is a very short and sharp Possums post. It’s designed to get you thinking. And (I hope) to share your response. I am sharing mine. Tell me yours. But beware- this might scare you. Do you have the courage to tell the truth? I wonder……

All my life I have been handcuffed by insecurity and self-doubt. I have tried to compensate by being ‘extroverted’ and, to many, I appear confident and strong. But it’s a façade. Just under the surface is a frightened person- of failure, the unknown, risk, ridicule. Seriously. Fear has underpinned most of what I have done, and haven’t done, in my life.

I am a little better at it now. But still got a shock when confronted with this one, very simple question. Incredibly hard to answer, truthfully. But I am giving it a go. Here’s the question.

“What would you do now if you know you could not fail?”

I actually heard that challenge in a pretty bad movie, “New Year’s Eve” I think it was. But it struck me. I wrote it down. Thought about it. What would I do now in my life if I knew I could not fail? I’ll tell you- but first a question for you.

Your challenge: What would you do right now in your life if you knew you could not fail?

Think about it. Honestly. And then share it with all Possums readers. Come on. I dare you to!!

Oh, and what would I do? It sounds really mundane. But truthfully- I’d become a garden designer. Yip- if I had my time again, or could know for sure that if I quit now I could reinvent myself and retain my standard of living etc, I’d become a garden designer. I know in my heart that working on gardens is my happiest time…. I’d love to do that all the time.

So what? Well, I suppose, I can start thinking about how to make that dream come true. Maybe I can start studying part time, or get a part time job working with a garden designer. Make a start. Take a step. I am still young. Plenty of time to change course. But will I do it? Do I have the guts to give it a go? Probably not sadly. I am having too much fun now, and the risk is just too great. BUT, if I knew I could not fail……

What about you?

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31 Responses to Do You Have The Courage To Answer This One Question- And Share It?

  1. Neil Bolton February 20, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Music. End of story.

  2. Thom February 20, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    Similar vein to you Chris! I’d be an architect. And I’d take over my dad’s firm.

  3. MC Hammer February 20, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    Simple. I would ask all those girls in all those bars if I could get to know them a bit better.
    GARDENING! tell us another one Possum man.

  4. Aryeh Sternberg February 20, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    I would open a chain of bagel cafes offering the world the bagels baked from the heart that they deserve to enjoy. There are some great bagels out there, and there is room for better. When we have a dream, if it is real and meaningful and true, it will rarely disappear.

  5. Sue February 20, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    I am inspired by this to apply for my dream job

  6. Shayne February 20, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    Chris, great post. The fear of failure is what holds most people back everyday. It’s not only the fear of how you will look to your peers and leaders, but also the impacts those decisions have on the people you care about the most – If I do this, and it fails, can I still care for my family? Financial security can be a straightjacket that is hard to break free of.
    If I could do anything without fear of failure, it would be working with children that don’t ‘fit’ within the traditional secondary education system, helping them discover that success in life is not necessarily tied to your academic qualifications (although that’s important) but rather what you can unlock from within – very much aligned to what you talk about in Wrestling Possums!
    Thanks for the posts Chris.

    • Pip February 21, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

      Hi Shayne,

      That’s a great dream job and actually something that I’m looking into at the moment!
      Far too many kids get left by the wayside or pushed to do something that doesn’t work for them. Fingers crossed we can change this in the future!

  7. Hannah February 20, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    A Garden designer! Very cool.

    I’d open a cat & dog sanctuary where all the strays can live 🙂

  8. Justin February 20, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I’m actually doing it now, started a website, I’m taking the steps and pushing the boundaries of what I feel comfortable with. I saw a gap in the market and I’m going for it.
    I hate it most days because it consumes my life, but when I get a minor break or something comes out of the woo it makes it all worthwhile.
    I often think about stopping or going back to what I used to do when it gets tough and the possibility of that is huge and very real as there is no current income in what I am doing right now.
    There-in lies the test of faith and of the quality of the idea and belief it will come to fruition
    And perhaps that is the real test, belief.
    Follow through will come with not giving up and expanding on ideas. Getting better and more defined at what it is you are doing comes with time.
    But honestly, if I knew I could not fail, I’d become a professional gambler 🙂


  9. Emma Bolser February 20, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    I would write children’s books!

  10. Clair van Veen February 20, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    I’d be a fashion designer! Happiest working in 3D with fabrics and creating beautiful, useful things. Luckily I get to be creative on a daily basis so all is not lost 🙂

  11. Carl Sherriff February 20, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    The same.

  12. Jaci February 20, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    You’re right, it’s a big one to share with everyone. It’s usually something that you keep to yourself, and that’s if you’re able to admit it to yourself.

    If I knew I could not fail, I would dance. Something I don’t do anymore, however without the risk of failure I would be on stage performing. The stage was always where I was happiest & musicals have always been a dream of mine.

  13. Sam February 20, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Chris, I shared this same question on my twitter feed late last year. The end result/response to this was starting my own PR consultancy.

    And so far to good. A few small clients and looking forward positively!

  14. Angela February 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    The very same question is pinned to my wall! My answer was to start my own business. It’s week 3 and I am about 60% excitement and 40% doubt – actually I think it’s closer to 30/70 – But I’m doing it.

  15. Karen Balstrup February 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    I would work in outback Australia to solve the Aboriginal problem…if I am not going to fail then I need to do that for them…no-one seems to be able to find an answer and it kills me so I use this magic fairy wish to solve this.

  16. Naomi Beames February 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    I would enter politics to make a ‘real’ change. I’d learn to scuba dive (I am too scared to do it). I’d get a lotto ticket and trek to Everest. If only ….

  17. Tony Spencer-Smith February 20, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Hi Chris

    More stirring from the possum blogger. I’d quit everything to write the Bestselling Highly Significant Novel I have been dithering about writing for so long.

    Best wishes

  18. Bruce February 20, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    Great Question and very easy for me to answer. An Artist.
    I reckon that’s my next journey. Once I have completed this interesting part of my life..

  19. Craig Charnock February 20, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    Id ease the suffering of others with a touch or a thought! I would preach love and awareness, and teach meditation. I would choose someone to run my business. I would script and shoot and post my indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign and video. I would make an album of tracks. I would make 5 music videos. I would write film, tv, and theatre scripts and produce them. I would write a book that teaches and transfers wisdom, joy, love! I would run for world benevolent leader. i would make a viral video that brings the entire human race out of ego and into their hearts, permanently. I would approach more women and ask them out, but with a disclaimer that i find someone highly compatible and fulfilling by the 30th one, ok the 100th. I would keep dancing. I would study 10 languages. I would climb every mountain. I would fly through the sky and snooze on clouds. I would go on…..


    I would choose humour, patience and compassion with every breath!!

    Thank you for this post!!

  20. Katie C February 20, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Sing. And write the book that’s there inside me.

  21. Thomas Harris February 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    1st answer is : I am doing it already!
    2nd Answer is Embody my creative godness
    3rd Answer is:Make space for each human to change at their own rate
    4th answer is: I am already doing it!

  22. Robert February 20, 2013 at 8:19 pm #


    Thank you for this post. More important to me is the first half of your post. I could relate to that so much and those demons of self doubt can be powerful little buggers. Seems it is a constant battle but happy to say is winnable.

    Knowing I couldn’t fail I would’ve faced them long ago. I would have so much more to give and be a teacher. Maybe just teach curiosity because there is nothing more powerful than the inquisitive mind. In my spare time of non failure I’d take photographs. Love it!

    Thanks again Chris.

  23. Colleen Rose February 20, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

    I would teach young people in South Africa about technology to prepare them for the huge difference that the digital revolution could make in their lives

  24. Pip February 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    I’d help people unlock what they’re really passionate about and help them turn that into a career. I’d work for myself so I could have more flexibility and I’d encourage other people to think more about the mechanics of their body to take care of themselves.
    For me this is less of a dream and more of a goal. One day I’ll get there!

  25. Ed February 21, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    I’d teach the students in front of me the exact thing that they need to learn for that day. I’d keep doing that everyday I was in front of them.

  26. Rach February 22, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    I would submit my songs and stories to a publisher…something I have feared actually doing for a long time!

  27. kylie February 22, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Hi chris,

    I would walk into an ad agency with my portfolio and tell them i am good enough to work there and a job would be nice.

  28. Greg Flynn February 22, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    Buy a lottery ticket. Too materialistic? An actor, then. A life of pretence in PR has certainly given me NIDA-like training for lights-camera-action frolics … and makeup is so becoming for the more mature male.

  29. Mark March 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm #


  30. Leah Capuno March 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    Musical Theatre, Psychology are amongst some of the things that I would’ve loved to delve into. Working in Marketing however has allowed me to utilise a creative outlet and still apply psychology by understanding consumer behaviour.

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