Failure is something that we are taught from a young age to avoid at all costs. The very thought of it, whether in relation to our personal or professional endeavors, is enough to cause stress. We’re taught to avoid failure and the negative connotations that come with it at all costs. But is that really the right view? What if I told you that it’s okay to fail and that failure can lead to growth, accomplishment, and success? Sounds crazy, right?
Let’s look at it this way; doubt usually precedes fear. When we doubt ourselves, our abilities, and our chance of success, fear creeps in and can hold us back from taking risks or pursuing our goals. We may become paralyzed and hesitant to move forward for fear of failure. But what if we shifted our perspective and saw failure as necessary and even beneficial part of the journey towards success? Is it even realistic to expect that we will always get something right the very first time? Or are we setting ourselves up to fail by setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves? Hmm….. 😊
There is value in failure. It teaches us lessons and gives insights that we can carry forward to improve and grow. It teaches us resilience, perseverance, and the importance of learning from our mistakes. Failure forces us to confront our weaknesses, to reflect on what went wrong, and to make necessary adjustments for the future. It helps us build character and develop a growth mindset, where we view challenges as opportunities for learning and improvement. It keeps us humble.
Failure can also lead to innovation and creativity. When we encounter setbacks, we’re forced to think outside the box, to produce new solutions, and to try different approaches. Some of the greatest inventions and breakthroughs in history were born out of failure. Think about how many times NASA tried to launch into space before they succeeded!
When Sanjay and I started J2, we tried a few business models before settling on the model and becoming the company we are today. We made all kinds of mistakes. We hired good people that were not a good fit for us, our sales approach was not quite right, and we made mistakes in the processes we built. But we learned something with each iteration, adjusted our approach and improved. We tell all our people, “It’s ok to fail; learn from it.” A friend received similar advice from her leader which was, “It doesn’t matter if you make a mistake; what matters is how you fix it.” Interesting, and so true!
So, if you find yourself facing failure or experiencing fear of failure, remember that it’s a natural part of the journey towards success. Embrace it, learn from it, and use it as a catalyst to propel you forward. Don’t let fear hold you back from pursuing your dreams and goals. Take risks, challenge yourself, and believe in your abilities. Remember, it’s not about how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up and keep going. Let go of the fear of failure, take risks, and chase your dreams with confidence, knowing that failure can be a catalyst for your ultimate success.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
Have a good weekend.