When you meet or read about a successful person, do you ever think about the person’s failures? Does it appear to you that successful people have unblemished track records of success?
Many of us like to compare ourselves to successful people we know. Have you ever thought about how you measure up? Could you achieve similar success? How did that successful person get so unbelievably lucky? Don’t deny it – it’s what we do. We compare.
Now perhaps you can appreciate the great things others have accomplished. But when you compare yourself to successful people do you experience your own thoughts of despair, inadequacy or even stress? How about feeling behind, anxious, challenged or even a little lost?
Relax. You’re normal and it’s natural to feel this way. Deep down most of us want to be successful. But the road to success can often appear uphill… and sometimes it’s pretty steep.
So do successful people just have it easy?
Do not kid yourself. The fact is, what we often perceive to be true about successful people – that they experience less failure than everyone else – is a complete myth.
While there may be some exceptions where achievements have come easy, most success does not happen that way. In fact, I would argue that successful people experience significantly more failure that unsuccessful people.
Frankly, most people cannot achieve great things without moments of failure. It sounds strange, but that is how we become great – we fail. We learn from our failure. We try again. We fail again. We learn to overcome it. Failure teaches us more. We come back stronger. Ultimately we move forward on a path of success that can span a lifetime.
That’s reality. If you have not experienced failure, you likely will not experience much success either.
So if all it takes is a little failure for us to become great successes, why are we not all insanely successful? Surely we can be the rock stars of failure!
The difference comes down to one thing. Fear.
Unfortunately we develop this fear over time (remember we were more fearless as kids). We are afraid of how failure will feel and if we can recover from failure. Most importantly, we are afraid of how others will view us or judge us if we fail. Ever feel that way?
Thus, we do nothing. It’s safe. If I don’t put myself in harm’s way I cannot get hurt, right?
Successful people are simply able to handle this fear of failure better than unsuccessful people. When you overcome fear, you build confidence. Confidence leads to challenging your fears even more, but it also helps to view failure as a part of the success process – and accept it. When successful people accept failure as part of the process to achieving great things, it opens the door to much greater success!
Successful people fail… a lot.
Don’t waste your life worrying about failure and how others might judge you. Instead, do what successful people do and you will experience your own lifetime of success.