Why You Shouldn’t Fear Mistakes or Failure
“While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.” ––Henry C. Link
I was talking to one of my client’s today and she mentioned that she was afraid of making mistakes in her business– of investing time and money into something that may not eventually pan out. I reassured her that yes, she probably will make mistakes, but that isn’t a bad thing and not something to be afraid of. Thomas Edison discovered 1,800 ways not to make a light bulb before he found the way to make a light bulb. One of Madame Curie’s failures was radium. Christopher Columbus was looking for India when he discovered the new world—big mistake there! Even chocolate chip cookies were a mistake. And there is the now ubiquitous post-it note—the glue that wasn’t sticky enough—another great mistake. Some of the very best inventions and discoveries in the history of the world have been mistakes or failed projects. The great thing about mistakes is that they can lead to a new and different way of thinking or doing that you never would have tried if you had succeeded. Do not fear mistakes: instead see what they can be used for or what new world is now revealed that you didn’t see before.
In sales, if you know that you need 100 rejections before you’ll get that one customer who says yes, then you can get excited about every “no” because you know you now only need 98 more to reach a “yes.” If one way isn’t working, think positively like Edison—he looked at each failure as learning just one more way that didn’t work.
As some famous person once said, “If at first you don’t succeed, find out what the losers get.”
What fears of failure have stopped you from doing what you really want?