Something about the word “failure” sounds loaded.
As soon as we hear it, our minds start to react. We get scared.
And that’s true even if what we’re afraid of doesn’t happen anymore!
The problem is: previous failures impact our present actions.
What really matters is what we choose to do every time we hear that little voice in our heads. You know, the voice that reinforces the feeling of impending doom…
When preparing for your next project, investment, speech, or even phone call, it’s normal to avoid doing things in a way that did not work in the past (you know what I’m talking about, we call them mistakes!).
However, how many times do you hesitate, or not act at all, just because of the thought that you MAY fail? Is it possible that taking this one specific action could lead to your next success story?
Fear of failure could stop both you and your organization from growth. At best, all this fear leaves you with is indecisiveness. At worst, the fear of failure leaves you with an attitude that every move is a high risk decision.
That leads you to play it safe. You might copy others instead of having a unique and original offer to share with your customers! Think about how much that fear actually costs you.
On one of my scuba diving excursions a few years back, our scuba guide mentioned that most people think sharks are dangerous. People fear them because they are unpredictable. People collapse the notions of unpredictability with danger, which is naturally followed by a feeling of fear.
You know what might help you see things from a different point of view?
Understand that unpredictability and danger are two very different concepts. Knowing that not everything that is unpredictable is also dangerous may help you see opportunities from a different perspective.What opportunities are you missing out on because of unpredictability and the attached feeling of fear?
Here’s what you want to do. The next time you’re afraid of making another mistake, ask yourself:
- What’s similar about what I’m dealing with to what I’ve experienced before?
- Are there any past lessons learned that I can use to empower myself here?
- Am I guaranteed to fail?
- What can I do to mitigate risk and increase my chances of success?
- Is this experience going to be a worthwhile learning opportunity?
Here’s an interesting question: when have you been grateful for failure? Share your thoughts with us in the space below.