You're going to fail. Let me repeat... you absolutely, unequivocally will have NUMEROUS opportunities to crash and burn, flame out, fall down, blow it, drop the ball and any other form of failure you can think of.
I know what you're thinking... "You don't know me, Brenden! I'm never going to give up and failure isn't an option!"
You're right... failure isn't an "option," it's an inevitability. Now let's go ahead and take the emotion out of failing so that we can start learning why not succeeding can be such a great thing.
You are not the sum of your failures. You're not unique or special for having been passed over for a job, getting dumped by a significant other or closing the doors of your first business.
All of the experiences above are certainties of the human experience. Learning how to NOT do something, just means you're one step closer to unearthing the best way to accomplish your goals.
Winners don't fear failure; their relationship with this inevitability is met with a matter-of-fact attitude that leaves those around them scratching their heads. Your average person is TERRIFIED to fail. The judgment of their peers, friends, family and spouse intimidate to such a degree that to not have obtained their goal is the ultimate fear.
Winners shrug. Winners take inventory of the lessons learned. Winners are constantly reviewing their own thoughts, actions and decisions but in a non-personal way. Winners realize that failing is a part of the process. They understand that denying this inevitable experience is to delay their dreams being realized.
Failing should be a daily goal. Yes, daily. If you're failing in one regard or another every single day it means you're learning, growing and challenging yourself with regularity. [TWEET] The size of your failures will be in direct proportion to the size of your ambitions.
Don't believe me? Let's take a failed marriage for example. We can agree that marriage is the ultimate ambition in romance. Getting married is to pursue a life-long commitment to another. Yet, to fail in marriage is to divorce (on the surface anyway).
Does this mean we stop daring for the ultimate declaration of love? Of course not! It means we fail (divorce) and spend time evaluating our behavior, our partner’s behavior and, more importantly, what signs or flags were present prior to marriage that we ignored.
Business failures can be equally as devastating when personalized, especially if we're heavily invested with our time, money, energy etc... It's for this reason that we must not waste the experience of this temporary setback. You've got too much invested to simply take it on the chin and lie down to die.
Accumulating failures is how we grow our wisdom, while simultaneously humbling ourselves to the pursuit of our dreams. Another unseen benefit to failure is that it's a great opportunity to either adjust our aim or strengthen our resolve, depending on what we've learned from the failure. Many times in business I've tried a new tactic, pursuit or action only to realize after giving it my all, I really didn't want what I was pursuing and in fact NOT succeeding was the real blessing.
When we remove the fear of failure and our own internal judgements of failing from the experience it allows for a deeper understanding of what we're pursuing. No longer limited by our insecurities associated with the failure gives us an opportunity to observe them through clearer lenses. This immediately expedites the learning process and allows us to rebound faster.
As you become less emotional about your failures you'll also develop more grace and humility with your successes. This process is what ultimately yields the best leaders. Leaders who've cultivated a strong sense of grace make sure to impart it upon their teams as they grow, fail and learn. You don't want a team who is scared to fail because you've taught them it's a bad thing. You want a team who is so fearless in their pursuits and passions that failing is celebrated daily.
Your team however, cannot learn this experience without first having a leader who has lived it. With this knowledge we can then see why it's CRITICAL to alter our relationship with the word "failure" as doing so will have long-term rewards that we cannot yet see.