Fear of failure tends to be a very strong motivator for both business owners and employees.
People who run their own business often equate failure with extremes, like losing their home or suffering social embarrassment. The fact is, most of us run into roadblocks fairly commonly, especially in the world of work.
Failure is how we learn. It may be a cliche but seeing every experience as a lesson, whether a success or a failure, is a really powerful perspective and will contribute massively to your growth - personally and professionally. Every project, every meeting you engage or participate in - think to yourself; ‘what can I learn from that?’ If people responded well to a certain idea or communication style, then do more of it. If your presentation style fell flat then assess, take advice and do better next time. Time spent criticising and beating yourself up is time wasted. The most successful people in the world had to start somewhere. Nobody walked into their first meeting and knew everything - experience counts for a lot.
People tend to keep scorecards with themselves. They evaluate their week/career/lifestyle on whether their successes outweigh their failures. Maybe a change in perception is well overdue. Rather than brushing over the mistakes and focussing on the wins, give equal attention to all the events that led you to where you are today. That way you have a more accurate picture of your own experiences and knowledge and can be truly proud of all you’ve achieved.
Every strategic thinker knows that no upward trajectory goes in a straight line. There will always be dips in the road and making sure that you can ride out and grow from any blunders is crucial to your eventual success.
For those of you running your own business, you will know only too well that finding your passion is only the first step. You will hear a lot of stories about entrepreneurs who sell their houses and cars to finance a company and sleep in their offices, all to pursue a dream. When in this situation, losing a client or being left by a crucial member of staff can feel crushing. To be able to evaluate these dips and keep going is vital. If you mess up an order and upset a business associate - don’t fall to pieces. Often even the most awful mistake can be salvaged by fantastic damage control/customer service.
This is why review sessions are so important. To look at a perceived failure without bias, to see the good points and the points to improve on, takes skill but is so important. Why wouldn’t you want to become aware of your knowledge gaps and become a more well-rounded professional?
The key thing to remember is not to be embarrassed. Everyone messes up -- you can rise above the competition by using those mistakes to your advantage.
There is no such thing as failure.