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Are you so scared of failing that you won’t even try?

You keep thinking about that business you want to start. But, why haven’t you started it? When I dug deep down, I found out I was terrified of failing. What would my family think? What would others think? Who could I turn to if I needed help? I was paralyzed. You may be too. If so, to recover from this, you must realize, just as I did, that overcoming failure and overcoming the fear of failure is necessary if you want to make the changes you’re looking for. Whether it’s to get promoted, achieve a higher salary, venture off as an entrepreneur or change careers, you must overcome failure and the fear of it. Here’s how.

Failure is not a destination

Failure is strange because it comes across as a destination. “That’s it, I failed”. Perhaps that’s because of school. When we see an “F” in our report card, the idea is that “too bad, you reached the end of the course and didn’t make it. Try again.” Yet, it’s not a destination. Death is a destination (you can’t land anywhere else). Failure is just an unhappy pothole on your journey. Your journey keeps going.

Failure must be seen in context

Failure is also strange because what might appear as failure to one person may not be to another. I had a web technology idea called the Gritcause Interchange that took 10 months to develop. By the end of it, I lost steam and chewed through my savings before I went back to full time work. Whenever I look back at that event in isolation, I call it an entrepreneurial failure. Others may say the same. Yet, when I place it context to my career, that “failure” allowed me to transition into the IT field, increase my salary month after month, and take a more intelligent approach at entrepreneurship.

“Failure provides the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.”

Henry Ford

Failure does not reflect poorly on you

Failure also puts into our heads the idea that others will look down on us when we do fail, such as what happens when we get an “F” in school. In real life, however, most people have enough of their own problems to deal with.

On a side note, if you’re around people who look down on you when you stumble, you’re in the wrong crowd. If you’re blessed with the right crowd, though they may want to protect you from failure, their underlying desire is to see you succeed (in business, in sports, in entrepreneurship, etc.).

Failure is quite cunning. It disguises itself as a destination, positions itself as larger than it is, and whispers in your ears supposed thoughts of your peers. No wonder we fear it.

Failure is a lesson, not an occupation

Yet, if failure is anything, it’s really like a large book left on the floor to trip you up. To some, they stumble, to others, they fall. Either way, you’ll live. If you change the way you look at failure, overcoming failure becomes quite easy and the journey towards being a successful entrepreneur or businessman is quite achievable. You simply get up, read the book, learn its lessons and then move on. As you continue doing this, you also overcome the fear of failure.

Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad said it best. “Failure defeats losers. Failure inspires winners.” The only difference between the winners and losers isn’t the failure, it’s that one read its lessons, while the other walked away in shame. Don’t be ashamed. It’s a blessing in disguise.

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