Until recently I didn’t like the idea of failure.
For a while I was even working under the false presumption that I’d probably never fail at anything again.
Pretty stupid huh? Success was built into me and everything I did. Call it what you will, arrogance, gusto, naivety, idiocy.
You read things from entrepreneurs all the time like ‘failure just isn’t an option’.
It’s bullshit. It’s an unhealthy and debilitating stance that gets in the way of you doing stuff. Becoming paralysed by the fear of failure can lead to a reluctance to try new or difficult things.
The truth is that I wasn’t used to failing. I’d always done pretty well throughout life whether it be at school, in sporting competitions and my first two or three business ventures were relatively successful and made money.
It seemed I had the winning formula, not quite the Midas touch, but generally if I decided to do something I could carry it out competently enough that it would be successful.
Then a strange thing happened…
I failed. Not once, but twice, in six months!
I took a business model that had already been successful for me and tried to replicate it. It looked like a sure-fire bet, if it worked I’d quickly have established an additional source of income that didn’t require too much work following the initial set up.
Sounds too good to be true? It soon became apparent that the projects were pretty mediocre and would take a while to get going and that when it came down to it, I wasn’t actually motivated by the type of work I was doing and I was not prepared to slog it out in the hope that things might work out.
The strange thing was that rather than being depressed over failing it felt liberating. It felt good to quit and know that even though things hadn’t worked out, everything was OK, life goes on.
Learning to fail was the best thing that could have happened.
Why failing isn’t always bad:
- Without failure it is hard to recognise success
- Failing gives you an opportunity to learn from your mistakes
- Once you learn it’s OK to fail you are not as scared of failing the next time