My fear of failure was one of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome to achieve something worthwhile with my life. By being so afraid of failing, I did everything on the safe side. I followed as a consequences, my first business were crashing failures. I ran my business like I had been taught to back in school, thinking that would guarantee my success. Boy I was wrong! I followed the book instead of following my instincts, and it took failed business to unlearn everything I had been taught.
But now I can say that these failures were the best thing that ever happened to me. They taught me that the world did not end when my efforts failed, and the experience forced me to think harder about how to launch my next business. I concluded that my first business went bust because I’d followed the advice of too many other people. I listened to their recommendations for success instead of following my own heart and, as a result, I didn’t have any fun running the show. And certainly one of the biggest reasons that we all dream of having our own business is to have a little fun.
The third time, I said to myself, “I’m going to do the way I think it should be done, not how everyone else says it should”.
I figured that the worst thing that could happen was another failure, and having already experienced, I knew it wasn’t all that painful and that I would survive. This time, I told myself, at least I will have some fun failing. Sure enough, that’s when I had my first success, and success is a whole lot more fun that failure.
I believe that you have to fail to succeed at anything – it’s the only way most of us learn the important lessons in life. Without risking failure, you can’t get anywhere in life. So it’s important to prepare yourself to handle failure, because it’s probably going to happen more than once before you succeed at something. Look at children learning to walk, or a kid on his or her first bike. It’s the same process when we begin any new adventure on the road to success. Falling down, brushing ourselves off, and getting up to try again is all part of the learning process – whether you are two years old or 60!
When my kid first started to walk she would hold on to the edge of the coffee table for security. Then she would take one step by herself and then fall on her butt. Then she would crawl back to the coffee table, grab the edge, pull herself up, and try it again. But sure enough she would fall again. And, this would go on for days, until she finally made it all the way to the kitchen without falling. She learned perseverance through this process, and gained confidence in herself when she finally succeeded.
This is also true of anything new that you are going to do in life. You try. Then you fail. You try again. And then you fail again. You keep doing it until you get it right.