A BETTER WAY TO THINK ABOUT FAILURE

What will it take to convince you that you can do it? Is it having the right person tell you? And who, exactly is that person?

The fact is, at some point, we’re all afraid of failure. Perhaps we think that we’ll fall so far that there’s no way back. We’ll embarrass ourselves and never be able to show our faces in public again. Your mother and father will say, “We told you so!”. Your friends will buy you a drink and say, “At least you got that out of your system.”

While it is wise to consider the advice of others, the sad truth is that too many people just don’t get the idea of taking huge, giant leaps in the pursuit of a Dream. These people will happily flush money down the toilet buy lottery tickets for years, but then humour you when you share your excitement about that Big Thing you want to do, that investment you want to make in a course that could change the trajectory of your life. Don’t let people like this crush your spirit. Not everyone dreams big. Some people feel personally threatened when they see those close to them getting ready to leap bravely into the Unknown. On some level, they believe that if you succeed, then they have failed.

When I once excitedly shared that I was gathering information to write a book on parenting from scratch, someone – a fellow parent – quickly told me that I wasn’t qualified to do so until I had teenagers, like she had. Wow. Really? Yet, in reality, I was the one with a toddler and the most recent, fresh experience and perspective. Plus, as a father, my take on pregnancy and parenthood would be something she could never relate to. Well, as it turned out, she had wanted to write something herself for many years, and never “got round” to doing it. What was she afraid of? Was my pursuit a reminder of a dream she never pursued? How sad that any of us should feel this way, and inadvertently put others down in their pursuit of Big Things.

So, you can do it. But will you?

Don’t be afraid of failure. All “failure” really means is, “You didn’t succeed… this time.” If I told you the number of things I started and never finished… And yet, while that is closer to failure, at least I started.

So, today, instead of asking, “What if I fail?”, why not ask, “What if I succeed?”

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