We have been conditioned to think that failure is a bad thing. Many of us have a fear of failure. Maybe even you fear failure . . . but not after this video 😉
I remember when I was younger and in high school, we'd go to these parties. A lot of my friends were at the party. But what was even more awesome was that there were girls at these parties.
Yep, that's right – girls. And I remember that one of the most amazing things that could happen at those parties is that you would ask a girl to dance and she would say that word that brings music to your ears – yes. And when that happened, you'd be the happiest man, oh wait no – boy in the world.
The word we hate
I also remember something stronger – that feeling when you are standing there with some of your friends looking at people on the dance floor, eyeing that one young lady (girl) that you would just love to dance with but were deathly afraid of that word that nobody likes to hear. You know the word – no!
If you heard the word no, life would all of a sudden come to an end. You would all of a sudden be the least cool person in the entire world, the earth would open up and swallow you into a pile of molten lava and you would die – all because she said no – or so you thought (if you were me)
Here's the thing – of all the times that I actually did muster the energy to actually ask someone to dance, I can't remember one no, but what I do remember was many fun dances. The thing I was most afraid of was the thing that hardly ever happened. You have to wonder what makes us live in such fear. Well, lets think about it.
Why we're afraid
When I went to school as a kid and even as an adult, if I made a mistake, I got docked a grade and that wasn't a good thing, because to a certain extent, my future was dependent on my success in school (or so I thought).
When kids do something wrong, they are punished. When they do something right, they are praised.
When we mess up on the job, there are negative repercussions and we might even get fired. And that would probably suck.
When we succeed, we are praised – because we did something good. Not because we necessarily pushed through a difficult situation, but simply because we succeeded, and success – well, it looks good 🙂
Because of this, we become adults who are afraid to take risks because we are afraid that we will fail. We end up being mediocre because mediocrity is easy. It's something we're comfortable with because – we don't want to fail, and if not failing results in mediocrity, we're ok with that.
This sucks, because the natural result is that we don't ever accomplish anything great.
If you can show me one successful person who hasn't had a lot of failures and I will show you a liar.
Why we should embrace failure
Failure is a process that I believe God uses to prepare us for success, and if we never fail because we never take risks, we aren't able to achieve the full extent of what God has prepared for us.
And for those of you who don’t believe in God, you can take out that word and put in the word life. It still works. And yes – it can often be quite painful.
What about pain?
If we think about it, even our bodies were designed to teach us that pain can be a good thing. Think about it – we go to the gym to exercise (or we think about going). After exercising, we end up being sore. Why? because our muscle fibers have literally been torn. Many microscopic tears, all throughout the belly of that muscle.
The next day we wake up in pain. Why in the world would we ever want to experience pain? Pain isn't fun and you know what – pain HURTS. It HURTS. However, it's a part of the process. After the pain, more protein is formed.
That protein helps us to build more muscle, gives us more strength and allows us to do more over time.
In the same way, when we experience the pain of failure, it hurts. But that's ok, because in the process we build emotional, physical and psychological proteins. And those proteins also allow us to rebuild. Hey, I like that.
Anyways, they allow us to withstand more force, more stress, more of the struggles than we have ever encountered before, and if that's the case – why in the world would we want to be afraid of the very thing that will prepare us for the things we are trying to accomplish.
How in the world are you going to handle being a millionaire if you can't manage your finances when you're a thousandaire. Wait, is that a word?
How in the world are you going to handle having that dream job if you can't manage to control yourself in your current job.
How are you going to be the master of many if you can't handle the few.
So from now on, I want to encourage you to embrace your fear, be willing to take risks, step outside your comfort zone. Do what you think you can't do because you have been afraid to fail.
Look at failure in the face and laugh.
Is there a project you've been thinking about starting but have been delaying because you don't want to mess up? Start it now.
Do you have ideas you want to share with the world but have been neglecting to do because you don't know how people would respond? Start sharing them now.
Is there a person you are thinking about telling how you feel but you're afraid that they won't feel the same way? Tell him or her now.
Stop living in fear of the very thing that will help you grow.
Will everything turn out well immediately? Maybe not. Maybe you'll fail. But in the process, maybe you'll learn.