Last time I wrote about the success mindset and why, if you actually want to succeed, it’s not the brightest idea to think about all the potential for failure. If you haven’t read it yet, go check it out.
But before you say anything, let me tell you: there is nothing inherently bad about failure.
Let’s start from the beginning..
What is failure?
Failure refers to the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success.
Yeah, it looks bad.
Nobody likes not meeting a desirable or intended objective, otherwise it definitely wouldn’t be intended, and if it’s desirable, then not meeting it, well.. isn’t.
But what failure is isn’t the problem, what failure entails is.
The consequences of failure
Failure has bad press, most people associate failure with really nasty stuff, such as:
- unfulfilled expectations
- broken promises
- devaluation of one’s self
I’m pretty sure you associate failure with at least part of this list. So you try your best to avoid failure, to the point that, sometimes, it means not trying.
Failure is success!
According to common belief, failure is the opposite of success.. But did you ever think about all the other side-effects of failure:
- learning what to do and what not to do to obtain a certain result
- having new ideas of semi-related or completely unrelated projects
- getting an opportunity to change your path and try something new
- enjoying the journey itself instead of focusing everything on the results
- gaining plain experience
Not that bad anymore, right?
So.. why is it so hard to accept failure?
The judgement of others
How is your social support group? Is it supporting of your entreprises? Or does it want you not to try because of potential failure? or because of potential success?
The difference might be the one between trying and not trying, succeeding in what you want or not.
Some communities value failure more than others, so try to be mindful about what your community expects and how it supports you. If possible you want one that will motivate you to succeed but value failure for what it is: a proof of courage and a beneficial experience.
If your community doesn’t provide what you want and need, either find a new community more accepting of your tries and goals, or, at least, do your best to detach yourself from the comments you might receive.
Your own judgement
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
Sir Winston Churchill
While a supporting tribe will definitely help, it is not of much use if you base your self-worth on your successes, or more appropriately, in not failing.
If you want to be happy, to accomplish your goals, you need to fail, and more than that, you need to accept to fail. Bonus points if you “seek” failure by trying anything that you want even if it’s out of your league (for now). But, no points if you deliberately fail at something you want to accomplish, though. Try to experience, learn. And be playful about it all.
Success isn’t the point of life, experience is, and in order to experience, you need to be willing to fail.
What are you willing to risk in order to do and get what you want?