In order to succeed, your desire for success should be more than the fear of failure.
“Fail fast” is an overly used and loaded adage. Entrepreneurs don’t wake up and ask themselves “How can I fail today?” What’s important is not to embrace failure, but to figure out how to manage it.
Society doesn’t reward defeat, and you won’t find many failures documented in history books. The exceptions are those failures that become steppingstones to later success. Such is the case with Thomas Edison, whose most memorable invention was the light bulb, which purportedly took him 1,000 tries before he developed a successful prototype. “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” a reporter asked. “I didn’t fail 1,000 times,” Edison responded. “The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
Unlike Edison, many of us avoid the prospect of failure. In fact, we’re so focused on not failing that we don’t aim for success, settling instead for a life of mediocrity. When we do make missteps, we gloss over them, selectively editing out the miscalculations or mistakes in our life’s resume.We often learn more from failure than success. Why then does our culture stigmatize it so? Why do we worship success when statistics suggest failure is the rule not the exception?Nevertheless, just because a person fails doesn’t mean the effort wasn’t worth it. Those that fail and learn from it are less likely to make the same mistake twice, and if they do, well, sometimes failure has its own rewards.
When we take a closer look at the great thinkers throughout history, a willingness to take on failure isn’t a new or extraordinary thought at all. So, how is failing a learning experience? Well, it gives you rock-solid evidence of what doesn’t work. If you fail one million times, you learn one million things not to do. That makes it that much easier to accomplish your goal. It can also lead you toward things that do work as well. Failing again and again helps you chip away at the stuff that isn’t serving you anymore and guides you to see a different path or idea that you hadn’t noticed before. It helps you become the best version of yourself.
In today’s post-recession economy, some employers are no longer shying away from failure, they’re embracing it. According to a recent article in BusinessWeek, many companies are deliberately seeking out those with track records reflecting both failure and success, believing that those who have been in the trenches, survived battle and come out on the other side have irreplaceable experience and perseverance. They’re veterans of failure. In an increasingly competitive, cautious and accelerated world, those who are willing to take risks, step out of their comfort zone and into the discomfort of uncertainty will be those who will reap the biggest rewards.Throughout our careers we must continually assess whether we are letting our fear of failure or losing face keep us from taking the actions, and engaging in the conversations, that will move us forward and make the impact we want.
Of course, being willing to take a risk doesn’t mean everything you try will work out. But as every successful person will tell you, it’s only by being willing to make mistakes and try something new that you can ever accomplish more than what’s been done before. As John F. Kennedy once said, “Nothing worthwhile has ever been accomplished with a guarantee of success.” Nothing ever will be. When the rewards of success are great, embracing possible failure is key to taking on a variety of challenges, whether you’re reinventing yourself by starting a new business or allowing yourself to trust another person to build a deeper relationship. “To achieve any worthy goal, you must take risks,” says writer and speaker John C. Maxwell.
Ten years from now there will be people who have achieved extraordinary success. While we don’t know who they will be, one thing is sure – they won’t be people who have stayed inside their comfort zone. Rather, they will be people who have continued to stretch themselves, even when things are going smoothly, and who have been willing to risk failure or looking foolish, knowing that the biggest risk they take is not taking any risks at all. The question is – will you be one of them?! You’ve got to keep finding better ways to run your life, or someone will take what you’ve accomplished, improve upon it, and be very pleased with the results. Keep moving forward or die.
AUTHOR : Megha Rao
PUBLISHED BY: Shweta Agarwal