Sweet victories are often the most difficult. These are moments when you must reach deep inside, giving it all you’ve got and be willing to go the extra mile to make it happen. And still, you don’t know after everything you’ve done, if that everything will be enough to win.
You won’t find much documentation on failures in the history books. The pages are taken up with victories and celebration for those who have won or become successful. Yes, there are a few pages on significant failures as they relate to later success, but pretty much everything is gear toward showcasing success.
But one story of using failure as a steppingstone to success is the life of Thomas Edison. We’re told that it took Edison 1,000 tries before he came up with a successful light bulb. “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” a reporter asked Edison. He said, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
Edison embraced failure, but have you ever found yourself avoiding the prospect of not making it? Have you ever found yourself so engrossed in NOT failing that you don’t really aim for success?
This means you’re constantly thinking about how to keep things afloat that you don’t put any effort (or much) into fighting with all you got to succeed. For some, I call this putting out the little fires. You spend all of your effort handling small and sometimes larger issues that many times have nothing to do with your goal, but are the outcome no planning.
This is called settling for mediocrity. Instead of realizing and learning from our failures, we hide them and try to push them out of our focus.
“Failure is not an option,” NASA flight controller Jerry C. Bostick was heard to say when the mission to bring the crippled Apollo 13 back to Earth became more critical. But today, we someone believe that if we make mistakes and fail that it has no place in our life. And that’s simply bad judgment on our part. Kathryn Schulz, who wrote Being Wrong, Adventures in the Margin of Error, says that “Of all things we are wrong about, this idea of error might well top the list. It is our meta-mistake: We are wrong about what it means to be wrong. Far from being a sign of intellectual inferiority, the capacity to err is crucial to human cognition.”
I’m going to continue more on the failure mindset, and why it is so important to fail as fast as you can – i.e. get the failures out of the way because success is a step closer. But for now I want you to be OK with failing. And dissect it and learn from it.
One resource I have found that may be helpful to you to reduce your fear and anxiety is this easy to read book by Mark Ivar Myhre. Click here to get his book. One thing is certain, if you do nothing you will live another day with your fears.