Friday, September 26, 2008

Don’t be afraid of failure

When a child is faced with a problem and doesn’t know the answer, they will charge forward anyway because they don’t have the fear of failure.

Quick story: At Christmas time a small church had the children from their congregation perform the Naivety scene. Everything was going well until the three wisemen walked on stage. The first wiseman said, “I bring you gold”, the second said “I bring you myrrh”, the third said, “Frank sendth me.”

The reason for the story is to illustrate how kids handle problems. The third wiseman didn’t remember his line (the problem) but he was not afraid to take a chance and move forward (no fear of failure). He may have learned the fear of failure based on the reaction of others. But at the time, the child was not afraid to make a valiant effort.

We as professionals need to be concerned about getting it right. But when we are burdened with the fear to failure, we have a tendency to fall back on what we already know and not necessarily push ourselves to find the best possible solution.

Look at how many times Thomas Edison failed before he figured out the solution to his light bulb. What about Babe Ruth, or Reggie Jackson, they were not afraid to strike out, so they took their cuts to hit the ball out of the park. How about Michael Jordan, how many times did he miss shots in his lifetime, and he still wanted the ball in the clutch. The fear of failure can be crippling. The excitement of success is empowering.

We as creatives need to remove the fear of failure and replace it with the excitement of success. With enthusiasm and pride on our side, we will work through all the failures to achieve great success. If it were easy anyone could do it. It is those that reach out, not afraid to make mistakes, are the ones who will achieve the greatest of successes.

I can tell you from experience, you will achieve far more success than you ever dreamed if you remove the fear of failure and replace it with the excitement of success.

Give it a try.

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