"There is no failure," my NLP coach once told me, "only feedback."
Penicillin was invented by mistake. The Lightbulb was the result of nearly 10,000 unusable versions before Edison was able to see the light. Neil Armstrong crashed the lunar lander in the simulator hundreds of times before sticking the perfect landing 250-thousand miles away from Earth on the surface of the moon with 6 seconds of fuel left.
Mistakes are important, necessary, helpful. As humans we instinctively reach further than our grasp in order to test how far we can go, often stumbling along the way, and learning valuable lessons that help guide us toward a more successful endeavor in the future.
Americans have become especially fearful of failure, trying desperately to avoid any bump in the road, hoping to make a perfect attempt on the first go. But that is exactly what gets us into trouble. By avoiding mistakes, you have nothing to learn from - nothing to help direct you toward the most perfect solution for you. We've scared ourselves out of being the best we can be by trying to be it before we're ready.
Here are three simple steps to making your life free of 'failure-fear' :
1. Don't talk yourself out of risk - especially before you start. Often the first no you might hear when taking on a bold new step is from yourself. Recognize that fear of falling on your face plays a huge part in just getting started. Many people have ideas, few see them through.
2. Visualize success. There's a great quote from Henry Ford: "If I listened to only what my customers wanted I would have built them a faster horse." Ford understood that risk, and belief in the outcome was key to his success. Set your goal in front of you like an oasis in the desert and start walking toward it. This is how you will accomplish your goal.
3. Celebrate the mistakes. See your failure as feedback, an opportunity to learn and move on, and value it. Once you remove the stigma of failure from the bumps along the way, you'll begin to see that your destination will be worth the journey it took to get there.
Be your best!