It may seem odd to suggest that the quicker you fail, the faster you will succeed, but this, indeed, is a paradoxical truth. Most people are terrified of making a mistake, and therein lies the problem. The truth is that making mistakes is not the problem–the fear of making a mistake is the real mistake. It is crucial to change the misconception that failure is damaging because it creates fear, and this fear keeps you from stepping out of your comfort zone and reaching for success; it keeps you from learning all of the valuable lessons from failure.
Overcome The Stigma of Failure
The first step to overcoming the fear of failure is realizing that failure is universal–everyone does it. It is impossible to live life without making mistakes. When you understand that failure is not a problem unique to you and that it is quite survivable, it helps remove the stigma of failure. Surviving a failure gives you the confidence that you can make it through the next one, too.
Learn From Failure
Failures give us opportunities to grow and learn and should never be viewed as a devastating, defeating event. Instead, look at the mistake as an opportunity to learn and know that you need to try it a different way next time. When you shift your mindset this way, failure becomes a roadmap that works as a guide to the paths you should and should not take. That is precisely why mistakes should not be feared. The faster you fail, the more prominent the correct way becomes.
Allow Failure to Build Resilience
This process of learning from failure builds the valuable characteristics of resilience and character. Persevering in the face of adversity and failures helps create the grit–that thick skin–you need to make it. When failure occurs for the tenth time, you don’t panic anymore because you realize that it has happened nine other times, and you were okay, so you keep the forward momentum. If you are a Millenial or Gen Z, you may not have had enough life experiences to have developed this attitude of resilience–which is all the more reason to fail faster.
Reject the myth that people will not like you if you fail. Actually, it is just the opposite–your influence will be significantly reduced if you don’t fail at something. Everyone loves a story of redemption and wants to root for the underdog. Every fairytale revolves around the struggle that it takes to make it to the “happy ending” because that intrigues us and makes us want to cheer for their success. Ease along the journey with no failures and nothing to overcome does not win others’ hearts. Hearts are won, and influence is acquired by facing the losses–the challenges– and picking yourself up and enduring.
Stop Judging Yourself
The final step in learning to fail your way to success requires you to stop living in perpetual fear that someone will find out your mistakes and judge you for them. Living in fear of not meeting others’ and your own expectations gives the fear of failure more power. Remember, failing is not a mistake–fear of failing is the mistake! If you allow it to paralyze you, then the road to success will take even longer to acquire.
Beate Chelette is The Growth Architect & Founder of The Women’s Code, a training company specialized in providing companies an ROI on Balanced Leadership. She has been named one of 50 must-follow women entrepreneurs by the Huffington Post. A first-generation immigrant who found herself $135,000 in debt as a single parent, she bootstrapped her passion for photography into a highly successful global business and eventually sold it to Bill Gates in a multimillion-dollar deal.
Beate works with business leaders and supports organizations by developing and providing training the training, tools, and expertise to create and maintain a balanced, equal, and inclusive work environment that fosters creativity, employee engagement, and corporate growth.
Recent clients include Merck, Women’s Legislative Caucus of California, Cal State University Dominguez Hills, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), NFTE, CreativeLive, the Association of Corporate Growth, and TracyLocke.
Beate is the author of the #1 International Amazon Bestseller “Happy Woman Happy World – How to Go From Overwhelmed to Awesome” a book that corporate trainer and best-selling author Brian Tracy calls “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career.
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