This is a tough one. I’ve struggled with being afraid to fail. The fear was so crippling at one time in my life, that I wasn’t willing to try anything new unless I knew for sure that it would 100% succeed. As you can imagine, this meant that I was missing out on fantastic opportunities to try new business ventures, seize interesting opportunities or even just get on with things.
One day it finally dawned on me – failure is simply getting a different outcome from what I expected.
Failure, in the right context, is therefore an unexpected or unplanned result. It does require a pause to review and reflect; but once you’ve done that, you simply change direction or your course of action. No need to beat yourself over the head because of a change in direction, right?
Unfortunately, we women are often our own worst critics. I know I am. What’s worse is that my friends are always surprised when I mention what a failure I feel if something goes wrong. They’ll then go on to point out all the steps I took that showed initiative and brilliance on my part – things that I fail to give myself credit for.
Please note I’m not talking about failure that comes from not putting in any effort at all and just winging it. That’s laziness with a hint of madness for expecting positive results without effort. I mean, the stars could be aligned at that particular moment and things go swimmingly well but that’s not typically the case.
If, however, you’re thinking up great ideas and creating action plans but are afraid to start because it might not go according to plan. Can I please beg you to do it anyway? You won’t know until you try and I promise you what you will regret at the end of your life are the things you could have done but didn’t. I’m sure like me, you’ve thought of a great business idea but gave into the fear of failure and someone else did it and made a success of it. That has always hurt. Therefore instead of thinking of the unknown as failure, think of it as a change in direction. Then take a deep breathe, and dive right in.