Don't Fear Failure

What a great admonition - Don't Fear Failure! It sounds so simple and so easy to achieve when you see it like that, but when it comes to life changing decisions that we all face, we often get sweaty palms, weak knees, and panic attacks at the thought of failing. But, unfortunately, failure is unavoidable. All successful people have failures in their past, and many will tell you that their failures have led them to the success they have today. It is hard to believe sometimes, though, when you see people that seem to have it all, that they have ever failed. Imagine if Thomas Edison had quit after he failed the 9,999th time in his attempt to invent the incandescent light bulb! Or what if Ray Charles had listened to the advice of one of his teachers..."You can't play the piano, and God knows you can't sing. You'd better learn to weave chairs so you can support yourself." Or what if Mary Kay Ash had listened to her attorney just weeks before she opened her first store..."Liquidate the business right now and recoup whatever cash you can. If you don't, you'll end up penniless."

Listen to the council of successful people from their own mouths:

"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." - Henry Ford

"When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." - Alexander Graham Bell

"It is not failure itself that holds you back; it is the fear of failure that paralyzes you." - Brian Tracy

I think Brian Tracy puts it the best..."It is not failure itself that holds you back; it is the fear of failure that paralyzes you." So true! How often has this happened to you? You have a big decision to make but you are paralyzed. All you can think about is what will happen if you fail. I think we all face the fear of failure to some degree. But successful people have learned to manage their fears - to talk to themselves instead of listening to their fears. And when they do fail at something, which is inevitable, they pick themselves up, learn their lesson, and begin again. How can you stop fearing failure?

1. Don't think too highly of yourself - I think this would be the main thing to help you stop fearing failure. When you have an elevated view of your importance, you will be more afraid of what people will think of you if you fail.

2. Learn to laugh at yourself - when you do fail, which is inevitable, laugh at yourself! Nothing will drive your fear away faster than being quick to acknowledge your mistakes with a laugh.

3. Take calculated risks - this means don't jump before you look. You will have more confidence in your decisions and less reason to fear failure when you research thoroughly before jumping into a relationship, business, or job.

When you do fail, always analyze your failure so that you can avoid making the same mistake again. Remember what Henry Ford said, "Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."


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