I’m petrified of failure. Really, I’ll be the first to admit it. Whenever I venture out of the common path, I find my mind racing through all the possibilities (rather, all the possible failures). My sweat turns cold. My hands tremble, my legs shake. And in the end, most of the time I back off, tail between my legs, and return to the conventional path.
Fear of failure is paralyzing. It makes you question your actions and values. It stops you flat in your tracks. It kills ideas.
The path of failure also can seem like a lonely one. Everyone else is taking the safe paths to guaranteed “success”. It can seem like you’re the foolish one who has no idea what he’s getting himself into.
It isn’t surprising that we are failure averse. After all, when we read success stories, we only read about that one time that the winner “won” it big time. And we think eh, must be a fluke, or incredible luck. Or he’s just too darned good. Could never happen to me. I’m ordinary.
What they left out was the 99 times that he or she had failed beforehand.
Which makes the success seem a whole lot less impressive. This person doesn’t seem so lucky or skillful now, right?
Look at it this way – when you fail, it means that you have tried. If you have tried, you are one step closer to success. Sure beats sitting around and doing nothing, and letting your awesome hopes and dreams wilt and die.
Extraordinary ideas cannot come to pass without a process of conceptualizing, trying, re-trying, testing, re-testing… So on and so forth. And such a process means that there will be tons of failures. But each failure at each stage means a new lesson learnt, a new innovation to bypass it, and a better idea or product in sum.
So I give you this – the power of failure is that it breeds growth. It builds resilience, character, strength – all the good stuff. Success is merely the final product of that entire process.
If you ask me, I’d put a higher value on that process of growth over the final success any day.