Recently I had a long conversation with someone I love very much. I will protect their identity here, but they inspired this blog. One of the things we talked about is just going for it. I think we often times get caught up in the reasons not to do/try new things in business and our careers, and not to step out of our comfort zones. We don’t have time, we don’t have the money/resources. We convince ourselves of failure before we have even tried. Remember, failure is not actually a real thing. You don’t fail, you find ways something didn’t work.
Imagine if any of our inventors and innovators had just given up the first, second, or thirtieth time something didn’t work. Imagine your doctor saying, “Well, I ran one test and it didn’t tell me what I need to know. I’d rather not risk another test not being the correct one, so you should just go on home and hope for the best.” It would probably incite a lot of not great feelings in you and make you want to use colorful language.
That’s what we do to ourselves when we decide that we can’t do something though. “I can’t start my own business. What if I’m a failure?” If you want to give the term “failure” any power to hold you back, consider this! If you do in fact “fail,” you will be among such people as Benjamin Franklin, and Alexander Graham Bell just to name a couple.
I have a family member who is terminally ill right now. I’ve heard at length about all of the things they wish they would have done, but were afraid they’d fail. They think that fear of failure is silly now, as they think back over their life. Life is fleeting. I think when we can see that end coming, failure really does lose all of its meaning. I think that is the point when some of us finally realize that being afraid of failure is one of the greatest disservices you can do to yourself.
Imagine if you could live like today might be your last. Failure would have no meaning anymore.
In Lee’s last blog, he talks about finding your why. Why do you want to do whatever it is that you want to do?
I want to have a bakery part time in the future. My why on that is that when I bake, I feel close to my grandmothers and Mom who are not here anymore. I get a lot of joy from it, and I love experimenting and coming up with new things in the kitchen.
Not to worry, I have no plans to leave the Hermits, but I plan to run the bakery on the side. Right now, I’m getting all of my ducks in a row to move forward. Sometimes getting going takes a while, but that’s okay, too. Until I changed my mindset about all the ways I could fail at it, I couldn’t move forward and actually give myself a fair chance.
Now that I know I will not be facing failure, I know that when times get tough I will find a way through it. I will not fail at it. I may have to adjust things from time to time to make it successful, but that doesn’t mean that I failed at anything.
Starting that bakery is certainly not in my comfort zone, but that doesn’t even matter anymore. What matters is that I remember the dreaded word “failure” only has the power I give it. I choose to give it none.