The most difficult victory is the sweetest. It’s the one that forces you to dig deep within, to fight with all you have, and to be willing to sacrifice everything on the battlefield. Failures are not something society rewards, and they won’t be documented in history books.
There are exceptions. Failures can be a stepping stone to success later on. Thomas Edison is an example of such a person. He invented the lightbulb, his most famous invention.
It took him 1000 attempts to create a prototype that worked. A reporter asked, “How was it to fail 1000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times.” Edison replied, “The lightbulb was an invention that required 1,000 steps.”
Many of us, unlike Edison, avoid the possibility of failure. We are so focused on not failing, that we settle for mediocrity and don’t set ourselves up for failure.
We gloss over mistakes and selectively edit out miscalculations in our lives. NASA flight controller Jerry C. Bostick stated that failure was not an option during the mission to return the damaged Apollo 13 to Earth.
This phrase has been permanently ingrained in our collective memory. Many people in today’s success-driven society view failure as not only a no-op option, but a deficiency. Kathryn Schulz is the author of Being Wrong.
Adventures in the Margin of Error. Schulz states that error is one of the most important things about which we can be wrong. It is our meta-mistake. We don’t know what it means to be wrong. The ability to err is not a sign that you are intellectually inferior, it is essential to human cognition.
Why Failure Is The Key To Success And How To Be Fearless
Failure Teaches You Important Lessons
If we look closely at the greatest thinkers of history, it is obvious that a willingness to fail is not a novel or unusual thought. Failure is as important as any tool in achieving great success.
“Failure is life’s greatest teacher, but sadly, most people and especially conservative corporate cultures don’t want it to happen,” Ralph Heath, Synergy leadership group managing partner and author of Celebrating Failure, The Power of Taking Risks, Making Mistakes, And Thinking Big.
They choose to stay safe and fly under the radar, making the same safe choices over-and-over. They believe that if they don’t make waves, no one notices them. No one will be mad at them for failing.
In today’s post-recession economy, however, employers are not shying away from failure. They embrace it. BusinessWeek recently reported that many employers are actively seeking out people with track records of both success and failure.
They believe those who have been through the trenches and survived the battle, and have come out the other side, have invaluable experience and perseverance.
“Having a positive attitude towards failure is the fastest way to success.
They are veterans of failure. Intuit and other progressive companies like General Electric, Corning, Virgin Atlantic, and Corning believe that success is dependent on high risk and that failure is a byproduct.
These executives don’t regret their mistakes, but rather use them to make future profits. Heath says that having a positive attitude towards failure is key to success. Leaders and workers at the front line need to put their necks out for a mile each day in order to do their job well and be successful.
They must deliver innovative, risky, and exciting ideas, plans, presentations or advice. They must do this without fear of rejection, punishment or failure.
Attaining Your Potential
This holds true for personal goals, no matter how specific they are or whether you want to reach your full potential in every aspect of life. You can’t fail to achieve your personal best.
To reach unimaginable heights and make the impossible possible, it is important to think big. And you need to push yourself. People with this mindset are the daredevils and pioneers, inventors, and explorers.
They see failure as an opportunity to achieve unprecedented success. This mindset can be applied to your own life, even if you have to walk tightropes, cure polio or climb Mount Everest.
While success can bring you great rewards, it is important to accept failure. This will allow you to take on many challenges, such as reinventing yourself and starting a new company or trusting another person to build deeper relationships.
John C. Maxwell, a speaker and writer, says that risk is essential to achieving any worthwhile goal. He cites Amelia Earhart as an example in Failing Forward: Making Mistakes into Stepping Stones to Success. She set many records and was the first female pilot to solo fly over the Atlantic Ocean.
Maxwell believes that her last flight was a disaster, but she understood the risks and believed the reward was worth them. “Earhart’s advice regarding risk was straightforward and direct.
‘Determine if the goal is worth taking on the risks. You should stop worrying if it is. Preparation, practice and awareness of your talents and skills are necessary to reach the goal or even attempt it.
How To Change Your Mindset To Be Fearless
Heath states that “one of the greatest secrets to success is operating within your strength zone, but outside your comfort zone.” You might fail spectacularly, but you could succeed tremendously.
That’s why extreme risk and courage are essential. You’ll discover more about yourself, your talents, and your resolve. This will help you to be better prepared for your next challenge. This sounds scary. There are ways to get into this fearless mindset.
Keep A Positive Attitude
First, keep a positive outlook. This will allow you to learn from your mistakes and move forward. Maxwell admits that not all people are positive by nature.
He cites Maxwell’s father as an example of someone who would consider himself a negative person. Here’s how my father changed his outlook. He made a choice. He chooses to keep a positive outlook.
Listening And Reading Motivational Material
He also continues to read and listen to material that supports that outlook. He’s read The Power of Positive Thinking several times. It was difficult for me to understand at first so I asked him. He replied, “Son, you need to keep filling up the tank so that I can stay positive.”
Heath suggests studying the successes and subsequent reactions of successful people in order to be able to repeat such stories for others within a business context. “Reward them, and praise their efforts before the whole organization, so that everyone knows it’s OK to fail.
Employees say to themselves, “I see that Bill,” the vice president of widgets who the president loves, has failed. He is back at work and driving a new sports car. I can fail, and still come to work every day. Bill is proof of that.'”
Heath believes that if he becomes complacent or doesn’t take chances, someone will notice and help him improve his efforts and then put him out of work. Or someone will take what’s been accomplished and improve it. Keep moving forward or die.”