Visualizing Failure

My optimism and confidence come not from feeling I’m luckier than other mortals, and they sure don’t come from visualizing victory. The result of a lifetime spent visualizing defeat and figuring out how to prevent it. - Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield is a former Royal Air Force Pilot, former Commander of the International Space Station, and the first Canadian in space. He went viral through his videos on the ISS and his cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity.

In his book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, he talks about the countless scenarios that could go wrong in space. Astronauts spend years in simulations training for all these scenarios so they’re prepared in case it does happen.

Visualization and law of attraction are popular concepts especially in the self help domain. If we visualize success, we can manifest it. But if we visualize failure, does that mean we’ll manifest it too?

Not visualizing failure means not to prepare for it. It seems like we’d rather stay ignorant instead. So when failure does happen, we are caught off guard, we don’t know how to handle it. Is that really ideal?

As I’m wrapping up recruiting season I’ve started visualizing failure, what happens if I don’t get what I want? I realized that my worst case scenario is not bad at all. And that’s a liberating feeling.

June 5, 2021

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