Article by Mike Anderson (NSBC Founder & CEO)
Franklin D. Roosevelt said, ‘I’ll do what I fear, and fear will disappear.’ Understand this: people experience the fear of failure because it is what is happening in their minds. The failure itself is not fatal – it is the fear of failure that causes most people to fail. The reason you feel the fear is that you are uncertain about something. However, if you are fully prepared or have done something hundreds of times, do you think you will still feel the fear? The answer is obvious.
The idea of starting a business and failing is especially terrifying. Don’t be afraid of failure. Experiencing many failures is simply a part of life and business. In the end, failing fast and often will make you stronger. In fact some of the most successful business ideas and companies were built on something learned from a previous mishap. Approach every failure as a valuable lesson. Embrace it, learn from it, look at the bigger picture, make changes and move on from it. As contradicting as it sounds, allow yourself to fail more and therefore win more. Fail faster, win faster.
In order to succeed we need to embrace failure positively and at the same time learn from the experience. My ongoing obsession is to turn every negative into a positive. In this way failures and obstacles becomes a way of life on my success path. Don’t lose opportunities due to the fear of failure. A temporary failure is a big step towards success. One small failure or obstacle can give you many positive lessons. It will increase your level of self-confidence and make you more determined and resilient. You will be more ready for the next risk.
Those that snub failure have adopted a life of mediocrity. Life goes by in a flash. Let’s exit with substance. I would rather fail a thousand times than never try. It’s a vital ingredient for success. Will a life of mediocrity satisfy you, or will you opt to leave a legacy when you depart Planet Earth? What becomes important, and what is very important to me, is not how long you live, but how you live your years.
The main reason why we don’t challenge the status quo is probably because the unknown is riskier and therefore our fear of failure kicks in. This is the seesaw of success and failure – or worse, living an existence of mediocrity. Most ideas never get off the ground because people are afraid to take a risk and fail. Those who have achieved real success have overcome the fear of failure and often risked the most to get there.
There is nothing you can do about your past, and you can’t change what has already happened. But extract whatever you can, learn from all you have encountered and gain better experience. Whatever you do right now will determine your future. You have the choice of doing what you want, and you must learn to make good use of the power of making choices. It is what you do right now that will determine your future.
You must be willing to risk failure and put yourself out there if you going to achieve anything of significance. Few have what it takes to embrace failure, but those who do will find opportunity and reward.
Now that you are willing to take risks and embrace failure, you must also move out of your comfort zone and innovate. Do things differently, walk on the wrong side of the road, swim upstream, challenge the status quo and always keep looking for the next big thing. Winners always look at the bigger picture while losers cannot go beyond the way things are at the time.
Innovation is about new ideas, new processes, and new ways of doing things. Step outside of your comfort zone and experiment. Try something different in life. Put your ideas to the test. Innovation relies on trial and error. If it doesn’t work, bank it as experience. This will allow you to move forward and try again.
John Maxwell asks why so many people work so hard without ever achieving or making an impact, while fewer who don’t seem to work hard achieve so much. The reason is simple – it is because of conformity. Research has shown that only five percent of the people in the world are able to achieve their life goals. Why? Because the remaining ninety-five percent are blind conformists who go through life accepting the way things are. Doing things differently is one of the keys to success.
You also need to listen to Albert Einstein who said, ‘Doing things the way we have always done them and expecting different results is one of the definitions of insanity.’ If you want to experience a change, you must do things differently. Stop following the crowd and you can be among the top five percent.
If you want to live an impactful life, you must break the mould. Stop being a blind conformist who just keeps to tradition. Challenging the status quo gives you the seeds of vision and opportunity. There are always better ways of doing things. Strive to be the one who will discover the better way. When you do this, windows of opportunity and abundant wealth will open widely for you.