Perseverance: Overcome the Fear of Failure
Nelson Mandela once said that “courage [is] not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” Furthermore, Gary Vaynerchuk, super successful investor-turned-motivational-speaker, has said many times that fear of failure is holding us back from achieving the success that we desire. Why are we even discussing fear if the theme of this post is perseverance?
We must first discuss fear because now is about the time when most of those New Year’s Resolutions stop being a priority. Most goals die long before January is over, but many more fade away once February begins. How do we go from being so driven, motivated, encouraged and focused to simply giving up, quitting before we have accomplished the goals we set out for ourselves? Simply put, most of us are afraid to fail.
The fear of failure is almost universally shared by all human beings; it is often the thing that people fear most. This fear can be crippling, debilitating and can drain motivational energy from even the most well-intentioned individuals. It can cause projects, plans, business ideas, and meaningful journeys of self-discovery to fall apart before they ever come to fruition. It can lead to unhappiness as we find ourselves stagnant and unmotivated, or unwilling, to change our situation in life.
It becomes crucial to redefine failure. To fail at something is to gain valuable knowledge about how to do things correctly the next time. Failing often is the only way, without resorting to chance, to ultimately succeed. The faster you fail, the faster you can change course and continue to progress; you have narrowed down your field of potential choices by ruling out the choice that led to failure in the first place! This process is life’s greatest teacher. There is infinite wisdom to be gained by putting yourself out there and being willing to make mistakes.
This is where perseverance becomes your ally. You must be willing to work hard and you must always be willing to put one foot in front of the other. Your goal should be to fail quickly and fail often. From there you can correct course and continue to climb towards your goals. The critical piece of this entire equation is that you must never give up, must never consider quitting as an option. Constant, forward motion is always the goal. The more you can push, the more you can persevere, and the more opportunities you will have to learn, correct and chart a new course.
You must be patient. You must be persistent. You must be willing to conquer what very well may be your deepest fear. Just remember: true courage comes from overcoming this fear. And once you can overcome your fear of failure, you will come to find that failure may just be your biggest ally on the pathway to success.
Until next time.