We all have this crazy fear of failing. If you say you don’t either you’re a true bad ass or you are full of shit and I have my money on the second one. Fear is a paralyzing emotion. Most every has some fear of failure. Fear of failure keeps us from moving, from trying new things, from taking risks, etc. Fear of failure affects us all differently, some of us manage fear failing differently than others, but we all have it. For some of us we retreat instantly, avoiding everything and anything that could result in failure. Others, only move away from the really scary things, while some, hit fear of failure smack in the face and flip it the bird. Regardless of how all of us respond to fear of failure, failing is a funny thing. In spite of its negative impact on our lives and it’s ability to keep us from doing new and different things, fear provides tremendous benefits.
The next time you are afraid, consider the following. They are the good sides of failing.
- Trial and error is real – You can’t learn without failing first. Every time you try something that doesn’t work, you learn something and that get’s you closer to success.
- Failing expands your view and perspective – When you try something and fail, you see things you wouldn’t have seen without starting in the first place. It expands your view of the problem, the challenge and your new options.
- It builds mental callouses – When you fail, the pain, losses and sense of failure becomes less sharp. You begin to build mental callouses. You realize, you’re not dead. The fear was over rated. This recognition that failure is never as bad as you perceived, gives you more confidence and you become less paralyzed by the fear.
- You become more creative – When we are faced with failure, in order to keep from failing over and over doing the same or similar things, we become creative. Failure unlocks our creative juices as the “obvious” no longer works.
- Humility – Failure builds humility. There is a sense of humility that comes from getting knocked down and having to get up. Accepting your vulnerable, that you don’t know everything and are fallible creates humility.
- Grit – Once you start something, you’re committed. It’s much more difficult to quit something once you’ve invested in it. It’s easy to walk away without every trying, but once you’ve tried you’re vested. Quitting has a cost after that. To get a return on our investment, we become gritty. We try harder and longer, determined to get to the end, so all the previous effort isn’t in vain.
- You get to say hello to REALITY – When we fail, we are confronted with reality. We can no longer hold up falsities, mirages, or hollow perceptions of ourselves. Our strengths are magnified and our weaknesses are too. We learn things about ourselves we did not know. Failure creates clarity of self. It’s hard to lie to ourselves about who we are and what we’re capable of when we fail — maybe that’s why we are afraid to fail. We’re afraid of being found out.
I say get found out. Deal in reality. Capitalize on the benefits of failure, ’cause they turn into success.
There are few opportunities in life where failure is more prevalent than sales. Every cold call represents a potential failure. Every lost deal, every pitch, every presentation bring us to the precipice of failure. Failure is part of selling and those who get OK with it will out sell those who don’t.
It’s OK to be afraid of failing, it’s natural. Just don’t let your fear KEEP you from failing. There are too many benefits to falling on your face. I know, crazy uh?