Everybody fails. We know that batting .300 in baseball could get you into the hall of fame. We know that recipes are perfected from repeated failure. We know that many of the world's top tech startups first failed as entirely different projects. We watch inspirational videos and share quotes on famous failures: Jobs, Jordan, Einstein, Rowling, Lincoln. The Internet is packed full of stories on moving from failure to success. Still, knowing that everybody else fails doesn't inspire many of us to overcome our own fears.
If knowledge was all we needed to face our fears then nobody would be afraid. We have access to more knowledge today than in all of human history. In minutes, we can search for everything we need to know to carry out our ambitious projects. We can read stories of avoiding pitfalls and how leaders in the industry learned from their mistakes. We can read up on hacks and shortcuts from those that failed before us. But knowing is never enough.
Taking a risk requires more than just knowledge. We need to trust that whatever we try will work out however it's supposed to work out. Our risk might not go our way or how we planned it. We might fail in all avenues of a project only to learn a lesson that we can apply to something totally different. Or we might only learn that we weren't ready to launch, or hesitated too long on a key sale. Or maybe we realize we should have listened to someone that tried to guide us along the way or set aside our egos and asked for help.
To face our fear of failure, we need to realize we don't take risk alone. Some of us have all the guidance in the world from family and friends to business partners and coworkers or even career coaches and professional support groups. Ironically, it is often our support systems that cause us so much fear of taking risk. We want to avoid looking foolish in front of our peers. We want to take a risk without facing criticism from our families. We often find difficulty in admitting we need help.
What if how we approach risk and failure is what shy us away? What if we accept that we have the knowledge, resources, support, and ability needed to follow through on our projects and all we are missing is the mindset? What if we stopped looking at all the reasons not to do something, the chances of failure, the worst-case scenarios, and the fear of rejection from others and instead we started looking at all the positive results?
The mind is our most powerful tool. If we use it to focus on all the reasons we cannot do something, then we won't do it. If we harness our brain power on failure and thinking up the ways we could fail then we are more likely to follow that path. But if we start using our decision-making ability and plan time to think about all the ways we will succeed and what we will learn, then we increase our chances of winning.
We do not need to solve all of our problems at once nor succeed on the first try of everything we do. But the key component to moving forward is taking the next step. Success does not result from repeated failures. Success comes from taking action. If we let our fear of failure keep us from taking risks, then we will never succeed. But by focusing on the positive outcomes, we can get our minds moving to all the steps we need to take next, getting excited about asking for help, and feeling eager to take the risk and enjoy the outcome.
What success have you been avoiding because you fear the risk?
EduCred Services looks to not only inspire our readers, but to learn from other people across industries. We can all learn valuable lessons when we are willing to read and understand the perspective of others. Today’s blog post was contributed by Ryan Tollefsen. He is the founder and team leader of Unity Home Group. Ryan specializes in negotiating offers, marketing, managing the team, setting goals and achieving them.