Failure has a very negative connotation by its very nature. We perceive it as an entity that shouldn’t have a place within the functional dynamics of our lives.
Furthermore, the typical stereotype about big-shot entrepreneurs that we harbour in our minds is that they see the world of business with the unparalleled roar of a lion and prowess of a major sports athlete.
Not true; They are humans just like us. They love furry cats, feel cold without a blanket in winter and have a problem remembering fancy thesaurus words. Just like us.
Recently, while vacationing in Mauritius, I met the CEO of a multimillion dollar investment firm. Basking under the entrancing sway of the palm trees cascading across the blue turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, I asked him as to what his biggest fear in life was.
He simply stared into the distance, and with a deep breath uttered, “the fear of failing”.
Now, you may perceive that the fear of failure is justified for an individual who is accountable for managing billions of dollars in lucrative assets, both corporate and personal in nature. It is bound to be a scary conundrum. No?
Naturally, embracing fear certainly isn’t ever an easy situation. With focus, knowledge and learning, the impending dread of failure can become an asset.
Failure is the precursor to success
Failures form the very breeding ground for success. Without the agony of failure, we cannot comprehend the very underlining definition of success. It is a definition that evolves throughout our entrepreneurial lives and is uniquely distinct to each individual.
People do not wish you failure
In business, wins and losses are most of the times mutually inclusive. As an entrepreneur, you may dislike the idea of failure. But guess what? The fear of your failure is even higher amongst your trade partners, lenders, customers and stakeholders. They all share a common denominator which is their mutually vested interest in your success. Your triumphs are just as much theirs as your failures are.
If you’re curious, you’re bound to face failure
Ever heard the term ‘curiosity killed the cat’?
The curious cat lives in every entrepreneur worth their salt; it is how they are built pathologically. Why? Because as entrepreneurs, we are programmed to chase after their dreams simply based on the fact that they cannot unravel the answers we desire through avenues of employment and traditional office careers.
Thus, it is this trait that motivates entrepreneurs to push the envelope, transcend boundaries and stare at challenges straight in the eye. Indeed, at times curiosity may lead them to instances that result in loss. However, they come back around with renewed spirit.
Your biggest treasure is the gold of failure
The most painful thing an entrepreneur can ever experience is not failure, but wallowing in the misery of not knowing ‘what could have been’.
Thus, a constant longing for seeking answers enables entrepreneurs to learn the tricks of the trade, research the tools and acquire the resources needed to effectively run a business. As long as the journey of learning continues without losing the path of hope, an entrepreneur becomes more and more capable with each failure endured.
Quitting and Failing are two different worlds
Failing is not quitting. Entrepreneurs inadvertently fear failure because they don’t want to come across as quitters in the eyes of the world.
No matter how hard you’ve worked, as long as you gave your aspirations every inch of the fuel in you, you will still finish with respect and dignity even in the event of failure. Trying and failing is far better than never trying at all. Taking action is what matters.
Life gets easier with each failure
Failure always hurts. When you first fail as an entrepreneur, it can be a really emotionally demoralizing thing.
Nonetheless, like anything else in life, time is the best healer. The process of realigning and rejuvenating oneself post-failure gets easier with each experience. Moreover, you gain a deeper insight while you evolve through the journey.
Keep in mind, failures paves the way for confidence. You won’t know your strengths and opportunities unless you fail and identify your weaknesses.
Conclusively, if you feel that attaining your dreams and aspirations are being bogged down because of the dread that failure brings, then know that it is a natural fear. However, the key exists in how you manage that fear.
The ability to manage fear effectively is what sets apart wins from losses and jubilation from heartbreak. If you embrace it, understand it, and allow it to motivate you, you will find that fear of failure is something that will make you a better entrepreneur.
Ali Ashraf, Market Specialist writer.