What if Luke Skywalker listened to his inner critic about risk and failure?

Spoiler Alert! I’m going to talk about Star Wars. If you haven’t seen the original trilogy, you might want to do that first; it’s about to get nerdy.

This blog asks the question, what could have happened if Luke Skywalker had listened to his inner critic about risk and failure and how that might apply to your life. 

What might have happened if Luke Skywalker had not joined Obi-Wan Kenobi in rescuing Princess Lea instead saying, “What is the point?,” “It will never get any better,” “I’m not worth it,” “There’s something wrong with me,” or “I might fail”? He could have possibly avoided many dangers or failures, such as when he disobeyed Yoda by bringing his weapons into the cave on Dagobah, or not completing his training before facing Darth Vader. 

I would argue that his choice to risk failure and learning from those mistakes makes his journey in becoming a Jedi meaningful and compelling.   

I often hear clients use these self-critical phrases. Naturally, it’s a risk to try something new, and setting a goal means that you have also set the conditions for failure. If you have tasted disappointments in your life, it is understandable that you would not want to risk another. 

However, there is still pain and suffering in the status quo without risk and missed opportunities.

Luke did not become a Jedi without help and support from others, and I don’t believe it’s an accident that a desert and swamp are the birthplaces for his transformation.

When you take risks towards a goal, it’s important not to go alone.

You may not have someone you can feel safe talking to about your pain. If that is true for you, then finding a trained therapist can help you face the discomfort of past failures and hurts as you discover who you want to be. 

You may know that Star Wars was heavily influenced by Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces. The question I’d like to leave you with is, will you answer the call to adventure, move towards your goals, find meaning in your suffering or listen to the inner critic? 

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”

– Joseph Campbell

Written by: Dustin Ellis