News that reaches us at our workstations, our home screens, or on social media pages is majorly about failure trends and little on success. It seems that failure is predisposed to be more public than success.
While some organizations and individuals have taken upon themselves to blog positive stories about successful businesses, many people shy away from venturing into business or pursue anything that is most likely to fail.
Well, “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is a delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” - Denis Waitley
The renowned Sir Winston Churchill, a British statesman who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, noted that “success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
No great success has been achieved without failure or a series of failures. The only difference is that such world leaders did not try to avoid it, fret it or question their ability to think outside the box. In fact, people with most failures- such as Thomas Edison who is said to have attempted to create a light bulb 10,000 times- achieve even greater success.
In this article we look at why it is okay to fail- “just pick yourself up, and dust yourself off,” then start again. It is our hope that this TED Talk will inspire you to navigate failure and approach it positively.
Fail your way to amazing success
Ekaterina Walter knows too well what it means to have fear and question your judgment or lack of it by using this phrase: “what if I fail.”
While she is a prominent writer and speaker on leadership, business culture, and marketing innovation, when it came down to starting her venture-though confident- she was faced with fear.
In her TED Talk, she explains that she happened to ask “What if I fail” in a conversation with a friend, who replied: “what is FAILURE?”
The question fascinated Ekaterina, and this led her to a new discovery that: “our definition of failure, and our path in life, is shaped by three things: Passion, Purpose, and Attitude.”
Passion is the lens through which we see (or miss) the opportunities
Ekaterina believes that “passion fuels everything in life: our energy, our ambitions, and who we want to be.” It shapes our actions and creates a lens through which we see the world. That lens can make or break us- depending on how we see things (is it in a positive or negative manner?).
Opportunities in front of us help shape our purpose. Everyone on earth has a purpose which (s)he was created to do. What drives and molds us to who we are today is passion. So the question is: “how passionate are you?”
“You see, I believe that every single one of us is an entrepreneur. We are capable of amazing things.” Ekaterina says. “Our potential is unlimited. The way to realize that potential is to crank up our passion inside us on high and never let up,” she adds.
She calls on people to find their true purpose and pursue it with confidence and fearlessly.
“When you know who you are and what you want to achieve (purpose+passion), your attitude shifts. It makes you sure, unstoppable.”
There will be frustrations. Don’t give in
When you are unstoppable “you know no failure, you accept no failure but the path that gets you to your goal. You don’t sit around fearing failure; you are forging the path forward, even through mistakes along the way.”
Even with all the confidence, drive, and passion, there are times you will doubt your path. Worse still, you will fail at something. But should this kill you? No! Just “keep on going, doing what truly matters to you,” because that is what’s intriguing.
“When your passion and purpose collide, they become a strong aphrodisiac. And that is when failure becomes non-existent.”
Any successful people we know today failed, actually more than once. But they never at one time give up on their drive. Take for example Steve Jobs who for nine years invested in Pixar to make the world see how amazing computer animation can be. He at one time was fired from Apple, a company he came to lead later as the CEO.
We are our own limit. If we think beyond fear and doubt, we are bound to succeed. Ekaterina says “if we have to doubt something, doubt your limits.” She says: “Don’t settle. Find your passion, live your purpose, ignite a movement. Trust in who you are and walk the journey that is only yours.”
“I encourage you to let go of the fear and dare to fail because you just might fail your way to amazing things,” she concludes.
Image Courtesy of istockphoto/AnsonLu