Make Friends With Failure
Last week I shared with you my struggle with procrastination early on in my first online business. After much reflection, I realized fear was at the root of my procrastination. Fear usually hides in the dark, hidden away in our subconscious mind where we can't easily identify it.
We all fear failure in one way or another. It sounds something like this...
If it doesn't work I will look foolish. People will think less of me.
I don't think I can take the disappointment.
If I try and it doesn't work out, I will lose everything.
As you strive to live out your purpose, you will come up against what Steven Pressfield in The War of Art calls "resistance". Resistance is the force that is at work to keep us from doing what we are called to do. The calling that is ours and ours alone.
So let's make friends with failure and go change the world together!
Did you know that Oprah was fired from her news reporter position, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school varsity basketball team, and Jerry Seinfeld was booed off the stage when he tried to get his first laugh?
Most successful people failed big time when they were first starting out. They made friends with failure.
When we refuse to make friends with failure, our fear sky rockets because then we have to succeed every time. And that’s impossible.
Instead, own the truth that failure is the recipe for success. We can't have success as our final outcome unless we stumble and grow along the way.
So why do we fear failure if we know that we all experience it at one time or another? Because we fear judgement. We fear what others will think of us if we miss the mark.
Oprah, Jerry and Michael all embraced their fear of failure and kept moving forward. Use these tricks to help you become friends with failure and not let yourself be your biggest obstacle in your business and in life.
REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED
Fear of failure can settle in so quickly that we are caught completely off guard. It is important during these moments to stop and remind ourselves of why we started our business in the first place. Keeping our focus on why we started will help us to push past the fear and take risks.
Owning your own business isn't about making money. Money is just a result. You started your own business because you have a higher purpose or calling that you are working to live out. You have people to serve through your product or services.
Remembering your WHY will help you to get out of bed with a spring in your step when the alarm goes off at 5 am, say "heck no" to the self doubt that is threatening to take you out of the game for the day, and push past the limiting beliefs that are whispering in your ear.
UNCOVER YOUR STORY
When we are trying to avoid failure at any cost we are almost always associating the potential of failure with a bigger story about ourselves. We are taking the failure to mean "we will never succeed" or "who am I to think I can be an entrepreneur".
When you feel very upset about a failed attempt at something in your business ask yourself "what belief is at the root of these negative reactions and feelings?" See if you can uncover the big, hairy exaggerated story you are telling yourself about this potential failure. Try to separate the story from the facts.
Fact: my product launch sold $20,000 instead of $100,00. Story: My mom was right, I am crazy to think I can be successful at owning an online business.
Once you uncover the story, you can see that it is just that, a story. Try rewriting the story and come from a more positive approach: "I'm willing to take risks, I learn from my mistakes and move on."
MOVE OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE
By stepping outside your comfort zone and inevitably making mistakes and falling down a time or two along the way, you will begin to associate failure as part of the process. Failure is inevitable on our journey to success. Embrace it. Grow from it.
David J. Schwartz tells us in The Magic of Thinking Big to "do what you fear and fear disappears." Jump right in and failure won't seem so scary. The anticipation of what we are about to do and the fear that weighs us down is usually much worse that actually taking the leap and doing the thing we fear. Action breeds confidence.
BE RATIONAL. THINK POSITIVELY.
When we anticipate failure we usually blow the outcome completely out of proportion. "If I fail at this product launch I will go out of business and be homeless."
We must train ourselves to think rationally and positively.
Whatever the situation - a product launch, a webinar training, a public speaking engagement- take a moment to visualize success. What will it look like, feel like, sound like? Then take a moment to visualize all the obstacles you could potentially face. Write them all down.
Fear grows in the dark. When we shine light on it, it starts to shrink away.
Look at what you have written down and ask yourself, "what is the likelihood of those things actually happening at that level? And even if they do, will I survive?"
Trusting that no matter what, God has your back and "directs your paths" (Proverbs 3:5,6) will send you on the journey of pursuing the life's purpose God has planned for you.
Be honest with yourself. Tell yourself the truth. Replace negative thinking with positive and truthful thinking. Make failure your friend.
EMBRACE FAILURE AS PART OF THE LEARNING PROCESS
Failure is not final.
Michael Jordan said this about failures in his life...“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Making mistakes and then learning from them allows growth. Without mistakes we will never grow and learn. So when we try to avoid failure at all costs, we are saying no to growth.
The key to success in your business is the willingness to try, stumble, get back up and grow and learn from the experiences.
The Secret: Every single success story has failure in it's back story. Let failure be your friend. And then go and change the world together.
Make sure and check out the first post in this series Why Fear is the Root of Procrastination and How to Overcome It if you haven't already had a chance to.
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