Learning to Love Failure
When a toddler first start to walk, she stumbles and falls. Her family members cheer and clap and encourage the little one to try again. The toddler takes another few steps, falls again and the room erupts in words of gentle encouragement. Eventually, that toddler succeeds in taking her first few steps and the event is celebrated and maybe even captured on video to share and remember.
When does this attitude of celebrating failure disappear?
A recent poll inside our Soulful MBA community told us the number one reason people were afraid to launch that online business was because they were afraid to fail.
(If you dream of teaching online but you never try, haven’t you already failed?)
Wanna-be entrepreneurs are desperately afraid of failing.
A toddler learning to walk is much like a brand new entrepreneur. They’re both attempting a new and exciting skill. They’re both nervous, excited, and want desperately to succeed.
But the toddler has a cheering and encouraging audience and no concept that failure is an undesirable thing. Her entire family is clapping for each fall. And in fact, the toddler can’t succeed without failing first. Some tumbles are required to figure out this gravity thing!
The entrepreneur, on the other hand, often has no cheering audience. She is achingly aware of each misstep. The pressure for perfection and instant success is enormous. But just like the toddler, she must also tumble a few times.
Is this you?
Are you so worried about failing that you’re paralyzed from taking action on your dream?
So what if you deleted a client list, forget an email attachment, miss an opportunity, have a poorly attended seminar, unintentionally disappoint a client, erase a video file, or waste money on a spontaneous purchase.
The absolute worst case is that you have to completely reinvent your business or shut it down. But you'll recover. You always do. And you’ll create something even more magical with all that you’ve learned.
Is it easier if we replaced the word ‘failure’ with the word ‘learning’? If we said business is full of ‘learning’, would you launch that dream business, full of excitement for the lessons you’re about to learn?
What if we described entrepreneurship as a pathway? And sometimes the pathway takes sudden and unexpected turns. Those turns may be frustrating and perhaps shocking but you know you’ll be better off for them. Would you step out onto that pathway and say “Let’s go! Let’s do this!”?
Don’t be afraid of failure.
Let’s rewrite the narrative around failing.
Failure is necessary. Failure is how we learn, grow, and evolve.
Failure teaches us a better way.
Failure is a gift.
Let’s choose to see the beauty in failing.
Launch your business. Celebrate your failures. Impact the world.