When I was young I loved sports, I tried everything from football, tennis, table tennis, badminton and ice hockey but the one thing that I loved the most was golf.
I loved both training and playing golf, I still do, even though I don’t play so much anymore due to the time that is required.
Like any skill in life, the more you practice the better you get. I got fairly good at playing golf. So good that I competed at a national level. I had talent, I loved to practice but I didn’t have the mental ability to handle failure.
As long as I played well it was fine but as soon as I made a mistake, it didn’t matter if it was in form of a missed tee shot or a missed putt. As soon as I did what I considered a mistake, things started to fall apart.
This was one of the reasons, perhaps the biggest reason, to why I didn’t manage to play at an even higher level.
Many years later when I started to develop an interest in personal development and studied NLP (neuro linguistic programming) I realized that is all a matter of perspective.
One of the cornerstones of NLP is that failure doesn’t exist. You get a RESULT. It may not be the result that you wanted but it is still just a result.
If you treat it as just a result I bet that you will learn from it and chances are that you get another result the next time you try.
Think about it. Everything that has ever been invented consists of a long line of what could be considered as failures and mistakes. Every person who is considered successful, regardless of which domain that person operates in, have failed many times.
Without failure it would be impossible to achieve anything.
Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, failed 10 000 times before he managed to invent a light bulb that worked. If he had considered every attempt a failure, how many times do you think he would have tried before giving up?
This is the perspective that Thomas Edison used to evaluate his attempts. “I have not failed. I have just found 10 000 ways that won’t work”. I love it. I think we can learn a lot from this.
Now consider a toddler. How many attempts will you allow for your child to learn how to walk before you cut him off from trying?
You don’t, of course.
In this perspective, the toddler, understands something that adults tend to forget. You got to keep trying UNTIL YOU SUCCEED
So, when do this natural instinct to try – fail, try – fail, try – learn start to change. I don’t have an answer but my guess is that we as parents play an important role here.
Think about it – how many times do you tell your child no or don’t do this, don’t do that etc. Even though it is difficult, as a parent you need to let your child increase their failure rate.
Through kindergarten and school the pattern continues and increases. From an early age, students are divided into different “levels” based on their performance on written or oral tests. If a student receives a low test result or a low grade the child and we as parents, have a tendency to consider the result as a failure.
Once we have finished school and start to work surely this changes? If you are lucky, it may but I´ve had a few different employers and I still haven’t come across one who embrace mistakes – in fact almost all of them had created a culture where employees where afraid to make mistakes.
What do you think would happen if we, teachers and employers, instead started to follow Thomas Watsons advice and started to measure effort and embrace mistakes?
My guess is that we would accomplish more and have a lot more fun trying.
Fail towards a thriving business
If you can embrace the concept to see everything as a result, the fear of failing will diminsh and eventually disappear. This will have a huge effect of you as person but also the results you produce.
Since I´ve started my business online I have “failed” many times and continue to “fail” on a daily basis. With this perspective I know that with every “failure” I get one step closer to success.
Don’t get me wrong I LOVE SUCCESS but I don’t get discouraged by “failure” anymore since I know that “failure” is a vital part of success. I see it as a learning experience and an opportunity to grow.
With all the opportunities that exist in today’s digital world when I succeed it will be MINDBLOWING and so worth all the “failures”.
Few things have the potential of being so rewarding as “failing forward” in the online world.
Join me. Let’s fail forward together towards a life of freedom and choice.
The only difference between a master and a beginner is that the master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.
Co-founder, Unlimited Karma