WHENEVER people tell me about something they are working towards or a dream they have I get incredibly excited; almost to the point to where they think I’m a crazy person. They can’t understand why I am so excited they have a dream or a goal they are pursuing.
I absolutely love hearing that an individual is striving for something better in their lives. What I find happening far too often when talking to people about things they want to do, dreams they want to live, or goals they want to “someday” accomplish is they talk in a tone where they don’t really believe it’s possible.
I ask them why they aren’t doing whatever it is they should be doing to live their dream or accomplish their goal and I get a response back filled with “time” excuses. “It’s not a good time right now with…” Or “Once I do…”
Whenever I see these people a year later after talking to them, guess what? The majority of the time nothing has changed. In my opinion, the reason is clear – fear of failure is playing the largest factor in keeping individuals from fervently pursuing what they want to accomplish.
WHAT IS FAILURE?
I honestly don’t really believe in failure, only lessons – lessons from mistakes made. The only thing that I could consider failure would be a situation where an individual tries to do something they really want to accomplish and then give’s up because it’s either too hard to succeed or because they don’t see any success at all and believe it’s hopeless.
This does not mean I believe quitting the pursuit of a goal necessarily labels someone a failure. If an individual quits something they had hoped to accomplish after they feel like they have given their all and have made peace with letting the goal or dream go then I do not believe that is failure. I believe that is learning about what one prefers in life. Gary Vee describes finding your passion like eating. You have to try food to figure out what you don’t prefer and what is worth spending money on to eat.
With that being said, failure only occurs when someone gives up when they know they could go longer, further, and harder in pursuit. Being able to hit a baseball is a perfect example. No one is going to be perfect when they first are introduced to swinging a bat at a ball and making contact. After a little while though, with some mistakes made and lessons learned, eventually an individual becomes better at hitting the ball. Is an individual who is set on being able to hit the ball consistently a failure if he keeps striking out? No, of course not. He is only a failure if he quits trying to get better when there is clearly room for more improvement.
I understand that some people will be confused by me saying that not all quitting is failure, but I think that when you get to the point when you want to quit a pursuit you will know whether or not it is giving up or changing your mind. And changing your mind is totally acceptable.
HOW TO FIND THE LESSONS
It’s all about embracing the mistakes you make and viewing them as stepping stones. It’s really about your perception of what it means to make a mistake. We as motivated individuals should never be paralyzed by failure. Even the most talented beings on this earth that may exude perfection in our eyes have made many mistakes that have ultimately led them to the success they have achieved.
So where do we start? We can start by taking responsibility for the mistakes that we make. There are instances when outside sources cause the mistakes that are made in the pursuit of a goal, but we should always take responsibility for the success we’re after. It’s up to us as individuals to decide how we want to view a situation as it currently is and what it could turn into moving forward.
Secondly, we must turn our mistakes into knowledge gained. How on earth can we find out which way is right or wrong, which way will work for us or not work for us, or which way will create the success if we have nothing to learn from? We have to try, make mistakes, gain knowledge due to the mistake, and then try again. It’s so simply said, but the second part, making mistakes, is what often keeps people from doing the first part of the equation, trying. We must improve with each mistake made.
Lastly, we must take more opportunities that come our way. As our instincts and attitude towards making mistakes changes we must be more willing to take on opportunities. By doing this we open up ourselves to more mistakes which can ultimately create more confidence and knowledge. We must try and make the most of each opportunity that comes our way. This will help us make the most of making a mistake.
If you would like to improve your ability to handle the mistakes in your life, below are the top 3 books I’ve read on “Failure.”
“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”