I don’t like Failure. I don’t know of anyone who really does. If you do, then we need to have a serious chat. I mean, REALLY? But, why are so many people afraid of failure? Some people are more afraid of failure than others. Maybe it’s imprinted into our genetics to avoid failure. Maybe it’s learned. Maybe it’s life experiences. The question then is, why do some people seek it out and rise above it and some people avoid it at all costs?
Fear of Failure in Sports
If you talk to any athlete, especially Professional Athletes, they will tell you about their failures as much as their successes. As many of you know, I love Baseball. One of the things we tell our boys when we start coaching them is, welcome to a game of failure. You are going to strike out more times than you hit home runs. You are going to make errors. The best hitters in Professional Baseball are excited about getting a hit 35% of the time at the plate. Pitchers walk people. They make physical and mental mistakes in the field.
Right now I’m coaching Football. I am the Defensive Coordinator and the Line Coach for our Varsity Team. We have a former NFL player helping us now too. I’m loving it. He told us yesterday that during the course of a game, on any individual play, you are possibly going to beat someone on the line, or, you may get beaten. Technique, Strength, Quickness all play into it but every game, you win some and lose some on the line. Every sport is like that and that is part of the reason why I love sports. It teaches individual and team success and then how to handle individual and team failures. Through the course of my life, I have seen people fail and then decide to be better the next time and use it as a fire to succeed. They got up and they got after it vowing to not have it happen again. Then again, I’ve seen others fail and quit. One thing is for sure, any time we start something new, whatever it is, we can expect to fail and sometimes fail BIG!! It has to happen to learn how to succeed.
Failure – We don’t want to Lose Face
Our society now is geared toward respect. We are seeing a generation now that is saying “Don’t dis’ me” meaning, don’t disrespect me. So failure isn’t something we want people to see. I’ve been watching the Little League World Series lately. Those kids wear their emotions on their sleeves. When they win, they are jubilant. When they lose, they are heart broken. It’s hard to watch sometimes. BUT, are they failures? They temporarily think they failed because they lost the game. Good coaches and parents though remind them that although they didn’t win the ultimate prize, there are a lot of kids back home wishing they had made it as far as they did. Looking back on it later, they will realize they went after it, knowing that out of all those teams, there would only be one true final winner. Did they set themselves up for failure? Possibly. One thing is for sure though. There is no chance of huge success without a risk of huge failure.
Fear of Failure – What are you Risking?
When we go after something big, and we don’t achieve it, we think others may be laughing at us or looking down on us with pity. The truth is that many people who we think are looking at us with disdain are really a bit envious. I love the quote by Dick Scobee, the Commander of Space Shuttle Challenger that exploded on liftoff in 1986. He said “When you find something you really like to do, and you’re willing to risk the consequences of that, you really probably out to go do it.” Don’t let others live your life. YOU have to live your life and live with the regret of not daring to do great things. Are you living life boldly or in the shadows?
Fear of Failure – Get Over It!!
So, the bottom line is, get over yourself. You are going to fail. You will sometimes fail BIG. Anything worth doing is worth failing at until you get it right. Each failure can become a learning experience and a stepping stone to huge success if we use it that way. I’m not suggesting you go take a second and third mortgage on your house in order to start a business right off the bat unless you have done a tremendous amount of education and are willing to risk that. What I AM saying though is failure is going to happen. You are going to fall on your face if you step out and risk something. The question is, are you going to get up? Are you going to make it happen or wait for it to happen? The bottom line is, failure is going to find you. You can meet it on your terms or wait for it. If you do nothing, you are already a failure because you are doing nothing. When you meet it head on, you are meeting it on your terms and can control the situation better.
Don’t fear failure, embrace it. Enjoy it. Learn from it. Make yourself better from it. Make failure your friend because, through all that failure, you will find success. That is the promise. If you keep hitting the wall, eventually, you WILL break through it.
Here is a great book you can check out. It’s called “Failing Forward” by John Maxwell. I highly suggest getting this book and devouring it. It will help you in every aspect of your life.
I have had many people not want to start a fitness program because they were afraid of failure. Many were afraid of the pain they would face, but many had tried many times and failed and had given up. DO NOT DO THAT!! Get up and keep after it. For me, it will be a lifelong journey. I am not where I want to be. It will be a long time until I get there. BUT, I am much better now than I would have been had I not tried…again and again. That is why I love Beachbody. I will never forget Tony Horton saying, just keep showing up. Do your best and forget the rest. Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you could be the perfect weight and have abs after one workout, everyone would be that way. It takes hard work, and a lot of failure but through that failure, success will eventually come!!
Contact me and let me know how you are doing with failing. I’d love to hear from you, and help you!!