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The Other F Word

I recently talked about the F word, not THAT F word but fear. And now I want to talk to you about a different F word, failure.

In fact, the fear of failure is the one overriding fear that cripples most entrepreneurs and business people that I know.

What if it doesn’t work? What if I fail? What if I have to admit defeat and tell my clients / family / friends that I just couldn’t do it.

Well, what if you do fail?

It’s really not the end of the world, failure is pretty much inevitable when you put yourself out there and try and do great things.

Not everything that you try will work. It really, really won’t and if it does then you’re not trying hard enough or being creative enough.

Once you stand up and try new ideas and put your hand up and say “yes me, pick me – I am going to do that” then things will start to go wrong at some point.

How you handle failure (or the thought of failure) is what is going to set you apart from the rest of the world.

You’ve only ever failed when you give up.

How does that sentence make you feel? A failure is only a failure when you give up. When you keep trying, looking for other alternatives and working out what you can do to change your failure and turn it into a success, that’s when you’ll really start to be successful.

Sometimes failure is inevitable and sometimes failure is the best solution. Not every amazing idea is supposed to come to life, some of them are supposed to fail and in the failing you’ll learn amazing lessons which will change your life and your outlook.

As long as you are not constantly making the same mistakes and having the same failures then you’re doing good, you’re learning and you’re growing and you’re getting to where you need to be.

I wish I could see more people who weren’t afraid of failure, who took it in their stride with the attitude of learning from their mistakes and deciding on a new clear path to take. Because this to me is true success. It’s not being afraid to say “well, that didn’t work but this is what it taught me and this is what I’m going to do about it”

Don’t hide from failure. Embrace it. Because failing means you tried and trying means that you will succeed. Maybe not as quickly as you’d like but you will get there. The only guaranteed way not to be a success is not to try, not to do anything.

So next time you have a project that doesn’t go the way you want it to try this exercise. Write down 5 positive things that you learned during the project and 5 ways you’ll do things better next time.

Then try telling someone about your failure. I bet they won’t be as horrified as you’re expecting them to be.

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