“How can you do that?” It is a frequent question. “You do so much; aren’t you afraid to fail?” Yes, everyone is afraid to fail to some degree, but it gets less as time goes on and you get use to it. Everyone fails at something, usually every day. You fail to lose weight. You fail to get to work on time. You fail to get the promotion. You fail to get up on time. You failed to complete the crossword puzzle in the Sunday paper. Failure is a part of life. I’d rather live life trying and failing, than live life not trying.
What would you like to try today? Do you want to try to make a connection to a new company in the area? Do you want to write a book? Do you want to learn to fly? Do you want to start a business? What is it you want to do? Jump right in and begin to learn how to do it! Get a book, surf the web, talk to someone who knows about it; explore the possibility or if it won’t get you killed (by your spouse or literally) go do it! You can start small or go big. Maybe you won’t write the whole book today, but you can buy a notebook and a pen and write the title on the first page. You can describe the hero or outline the concept. But get started! What’s the worst that could happen? Oh, my: you could fail! But you probably already did that at least once today and survived, so go for it! Embrace failure until you surprise yourself and succeed. Who knows? You might find success the first time and enjoy it too!
People who are successful are experienced at failure. The difference between “failures” and successful people are that the successful people tried one more thing, one more time! It can be painful to your ego and it can be humbling. It can hurt your bank account and it definitely teaches you lessons (if you are willing to learn), but the more things you try, the more things you will be able to do. The more things you can do the more successful you will be. Success enables success.
Four things to do to make life more interesting and embrace success and failure:
1. Do something you will be bad at deliberately. The object of this is to fail and be okay with it. Not great at bowling? Go bowling and enjoy your skill at gutter balls. You can get better … maybe. (Personally, I’ve never improved.)
2. Sing karaoke. Admit it: The objective is to be bad at this. So enjoy it. It is embarrassing, but if you have a voice like Pavarotti or Streisand or Celine Dion, then more power to you. Belt out those tunes and be the envy of all those Karaoke Kings!
3. Dance! Just like the song says, do it like no one is watching … and hope that no one is. Have fun! That is the only objective. But don’t film it and post it on Facebook®, YouTube or the Internet. This is to learn to be okay, not to permanently damage your reputation (also keep this in mind when singing karaoke).
4. Be a kid.
As a kid we have to learn to walk, talk, ride bikes and more. Find a skill to learn: a language, a computer program, something that will improve your skill set and that will give you confidence in yourself. But make it small and achievable. Don’t try to build the space shuttle or take advanced calculus when you aren’t good at math. Be realistic.
If you have a hard time with any of these, get a kid to show you how. They can be silly, sing loud, dance freely and are game to play. If they fall down, they cry, throw a fit, and go right back at it. So can you—if you aren’t too grown up.
Copyright ©2010 F.O.C.U.S. Resource, Inc. and Lea A. Strickland (author)