Don’t Be Afraid To Fail
You’ll never know unless you try.
“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure.” — THOMAS J. WATSON, founder of IBM
Fear is a powerful motivator. It can motivate you to action — “Look, an angry bear coming right for us. Run!’ — or motivate you to inaction — “I want to ask Lucy out on a date, but I’m scared she’ll say no, so I guess I’m hanging out at home with my Xbox again tonight.”
Fear is crippling for the creative. It can stop us from putting our work out there for others to experience. It can keep us from creating that work in the first place. It can lead us to make bad decisions — decisions based on maintaining certainty, protecting our ego, and not taking risks.
Success demands risks. Preparation allows us to manage risks to an extent, but at the end of the day you’re not always going to have all the information of what the outcome of your action will be. You won’t know if everyone likes your blog, adores your painting, or thinks your podcast is a potential TED Talk. If you’re not 100% sure of the results, remember that neither is anybody else.
What we learn from failures will strengthen our next efforts, build our expertise, and lead to the path of success. Put fear aside, and put yourself out there. Not taking action and not risking failure is the same as taking action to fail. So go ahead and fail. Fail again. It’s all steps on the long road to long-term success.
Remember, in the absence of clarity — take action. Continue to take action every day, and don’t worry if you fail. Fortune favors the bold.
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” — YODA, The Empire Strikes Back
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Michael Burns is a location-independent Creative Writer, Creative Growth Consultant, and Entrepreneur. He’s also a fantastic house and pet sitter; and spends way too much time at the beach (ok, there’s really never too much time at the beach).
If you’re interested in hiring him to: create digital content or marketing communications; or consult your small business website or personal life for creative growth; then he’d be happy to help you out.