Tuesday, December 27, 2011

If you are afraid to fail, you will never follow your passion

When you were growing up, you were taught many things.  You were taught how to read, how to write, how to do math, etc.   Did anyone ever teach you how to fail?  As a matter of fact, you were probably taught just the opposite.  We are all taught to avoid failure.  Failure is bad!  So now we find ourselves avoiding anything that involves risk, or at least, the risk of failure and embarassment.  Look around at what society is teaching kids today.  They are being taught that “everyone is a winner.”  How many times have you gone to a little league game and everyone gets a trophy just for playing.  That drives me crazy!  Kids need to learn how to lose (fail) so they can see that it is okay, and so they know what they need to do to improve.  We need to change people’s mindset when it comes to failure.  Failure is not bad.  Failure is good!  It is a great teacher, and it is nothing to be afraid of.  It just teaches us that we need to do things differently next time.  There is a lesson in every “failure.”

 Look back through history at any great inventor.  They never succeeded at everything they tried.  There are many things that did not go right.  One famous account is of Thomas Edison.  A reporter once asked Mr. Edison how it felt to have failed 10,000 times before he successfully invented the light bulb.  Edison replied “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”  Now that’s how we all should think!

If you can change your view of what failure is it will completely free you.  You will not be bound by the conventional thoughts of failure, and you will find yourself actually doing instead of dreaming.  You never fail if you try.  You just learn new lessons.  Every successful person will tell you that their success was preceded by a series of failures.  If you are afraid of failure, you more than likely have "fear of being embarrassed" on the fear exercise from the last post.

So how do you go about changing your mindset? 
  • Look back at everything you have collected so far from the previous posts. 
  • Examine your list of things you would regret not doing in your life.
  • Look at your fears and how you can overcome them.
  • Start small, plan appropriately, and take action. 
  • Remember, if it doesn’t work the first time, learn from it, modify your plan and try again. 

There is a great new web series by Morgan Spurlock dedicated to this subject called Failure Club.  The entire purpose of the series is for its participants to fail.  You can follow it by clicking here.   

Please share your thoughts in comments.  I am a big believer in sharing your own experiences or advice to help encourage others.

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