It seems like everybody is deathly afraid of failure. But failure is a good thing. Yes, it is. Even though it’s not always an enjoyable experience, or we’ve been taught through our upbringing and schooling that an “F” (failure) is bad – the reality is that there are lessons failure can teach you that nothing else can. As you listen to my thoughts on this issue of failure I want you to open up your mind to the possibility, the likelihood, that failure is really a good thing… a very good thing.
[2:39] Failure is what teaches us from childhood. Why are we so afraid of it?
If you think about the way we learn from early childhood on, it’s by failing. Walking, talking, schooling – all of them put us in contexts where we have to master something se did not know before. We have to make the attempt to do things that feel very uncomfortable. But we do it anyway – and we succeed in time. Failure is a teacher, a companion, a friend in some ways when we are younger. So what happens to us that makes us so afraid of failing? We’re going to dig into it on this episode. It’s kind of touchy-feely. I just thought I’d warn you. 😉
[6:51] Why does failure take on such a stigma in our culture?
Once we become adults the story changes. Rather than embracing failure as a friend that can help us improve at ANYTHING, we see it as an outcome to be avoided at all costs. Why is that? Have you ever wondered? Part of it is that we live in a performance-based culture, where success is lauded and failure is, well, criticized. But anyone who succeeds HAS to fail IN ORDER TO SUCCEED, right? On this episode I pontificate a bit about why and how we need to fight back against the culture’s stigma against failure, at least in our own minds. If we can teach ourselves to think differently about failure, to see failure as a good thing, I believe that we could accomplish amazing things. Join me.
[11:10] There is going to be failure as you build a business.
When it comes to starting any type of business the fear of failure seems to be taking steroids. And there are good reasons for that. There’s a lot more on the line in the start of any business – income, the well-being of people, costs that you may not recoup if you fail – you get the idea. I’m not telling you that to scare you off. In fact, I want to encourage you by telling you that because once you realize that risk is part of what makes the reward so sweet, you start looking for ways to fail faster so you can move forward more quickly. I’m not saying you take stupid risks, but I am saying you have to take risks. How does that work? Listen and I’ll fill you in.
[21:44] The detrimental effects of being a “glass half-empty” person.
It’s not just personal development jargon to say that the way you think dictates the way you live. It’s the truth. So that means whatever perspective you tend to have – glass half-empty VS glass half-full – will shape how you go about life, the things you dare or don’t dare, and the degree of success you will ever be able to accomplish. On this episode I’ve got a little bit of confrontation and a lot of encouragement for you if you are one of those glass half-empty people. I know, you don’t want to admit it – and I won’t make you right now. Just listen to the episode to see if what I’m saying hits home. If it does, then you can admit it. 😉
[26:26] The power of a “glass half-full” perspective.
Positive thinking didn’t go out of vogue with Norman Vincent Peale. In fact, it’s still one of the most important aspects of a healthy mindset. But you have to be careful what you MEAN when you talk about it. If you’re talking about “airy fairy” stuff that is not grounded in reality, then you’re not really talking about positive thinking, you’re talking crazy. And for some of you, when I say, “Failure is a good thing” it may strike you in its own crazy sort of way. But it’s not. Give me a chance to prove it to you by listening to this episode. I guarantee you, you’ll get it and realize something new about yourself. And if you don’t, hmmmmm – I guess I’ll buy you a cup of coffee or something to congratulate you on having this fear of failure thing whipped. Just shoot me an email and we can discuss the logistical details regarding your free cup of java.
- www.LiveBuildChange.com/zero – my story
- www.LiveBuildChange.com/21 – the close of my online course
- Tim Ferriss interview with General Stanley McCrystal
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