“To achieve great success, you need to be ready to face failure along the way.”
How many times have we let an opportunity go because we are afraid of failing or making a mistake?
Stumbling down and falling is a part of life, one doesn’t need to be afraid nor be embarrassed about it. If we start truly embracing and owning our failures, we will only grow and move towards the right path.
The reality is that there will be a little bit of fear with every big step you take, and that small amount of fear is necessary to push you towards your goal, but the trick is to not let the fear grow so much that it actually prevents you from achieving your goals. This uncontrollable fear will only lead to regrets, missed opportunities and more trouble later on.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield
Life is all about learning, evolving, and growing, and no matter how philosophical that sounds, it is that simple. If you understand that failure is inevitable in the process of learning and growing, the fear will soon start disappearing, simply because there will be no place for it anymore. Your enthusiasm, curiosity, and zest for life will soon take over.
In many ways, failure is the best teacher you can ever have. It will push you to think outside the box, work harder and try different approaches. It will help you learn so much about yourself, and make you think in-depth about your choices and decisions. All these things are essential for success and true contentment in life.
The simple thing you should tell yourself every day is that failure is inevitable on the path to success. If you are not failing and trying again, that means you are not moving forward.
So, now the question is how do we overcome this fear? How do we actually start embracing our failures?
1. Understanding your strengths and weakness
The first and the most important thing that you have to do is, take time to understand your strengths and weaknesses. You can do this through taking time to reflect on your decisions at the end of the day, or simply making a pros and cons list!
This will help you to play to your strengths and enhance them, while at the same time being aware of your weak points and improving on them. This simple activity will help you be as prepared as you can when you perform a task, so every mistake or failure will just automatically become an opportunity for you to learn more about yourself.
2. Changing your perspective
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison
Simply looking at the world through a different lens will immediately change the way you think and feel. If you think that failing in many things, makes YOU a failure, then you need to shift that perspective to understand that it’s not the same thing.
How will you do that?
Well, you need to start with changing your perspective about small events in your life, such as appreciating small things in your life and trying to look at problematic situations in a more optimistic way, or learning how to be calm when you are faced with minor stressors. Then you can move onto bigger events, such as looking at failure from a different angle.
Changing your perspective about a failure by looking at it as an opportunity to learn and grow, will help you get rid of that fear.
3. Managing your emotions
When you experience failure, you don’t need to suppress it or deny its existence. It is not only unhealthy, it will come back at some point in your life. When you had a bad day at work or a fight with your friend, you need to let out your emotions in a healthy way. You can simply cry, write, exercise or talk to a friend.
Once your emotions are settled, you can focus on dealing with the problem in an objective way.
4. Don’t regret your decisions
“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”-Henry Ford
There are some things you can’t change, you can only wish that you can go back in time and change it. But, you don’t need to be stuck in this thought process.
The practice of not regretting your decisions comes with having confidence that any decisions you have taken in life, you took it for a reason, even if that reason doesn’t make sense at this point of time. Regretting your decisions will lead you to a path of self-pity, which will only cloud your judgment more than ever and make you doubt your own abilities.
5. You have the power
If you want to be stuck in a certain phase of life, then you can try to play it safe. But, if you want to move forward in life and achieve your goals, then you need to look at the process of failure as inevitable, even rewarding at times.
You also need to remember that you have the power to overcome these situations, no matter how difficult or impossible it seems.
You always need to keep in mind that you have the power to change, learn and move forward.
Hope this helps you understand a bit about why you shouldn’t be afraid of failure and how to overcome this fear.
Some additional resources that can help you:
The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph– by Ryan Holiday
The Value of Failure - by Shane Lester
Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure - By Tim Harford
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life - By Scott Adams