Why is it that we are so afraid to fail? Is it because it means that we are then “failures” or perhaps that we didn’t quite make it in life or business? Maybe there’s a stigma attached to failure and that’s what’s driving us so far in the other direction.

That is “failure”, constantly worrying what others say and think…we shouldn’t put speech bubbles on other people’s heads anyway – we have no idea what they are thinking and guess what, it shouldn’t matter anyway, it’s none of our business.

Einstein said “I didn’t fail 1 000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1 000 steps”, his perspective says it all. While choosing to fail is not an option, choosing to learn that failure is part of the process of success is.

Failure is perhaps just delayed success, or another chance we get to go again!

Sometimes we win and sometimes we learn

1. Never discount the lessons you get from not getting it right the first time, you are going to be paying “school fees” anyway, so you might as well pay attention to the lesson. If you do, then the next time you start is the first time you start wiser and more knowledgeable and now you have added experience.

2. Always assess what worked and what didn’t work and then ask why, the why is critical. If you don’t know why it didn’t work, you will repeat the same mistake again, then it’s not a mistake – it’s a choice. Try a different way next time but whatever you do, keep trying.

3. Regularly adjust what needs to be adjusted, change for the sake of change is a waste of resources, change for the sake of progress, is vital. If you constantly adjust your path by one degree to ensure that you are going in the right direction, you won’t need to make radical and costly changes down the line. The choice in the change is always up to you – things change and how we respond to it will determine whether we win or learn.

The lesson is in the journey the graduation is in the destination

1. Be able to adopt. None of us just know what we know, we don’t even know what we don’t know. Get a mentor, get a few. Look for people who have traveled the journey and have scars to prove it. Their wisdom is what you are looking for, not their opinion, their wisdom. You can get opinions anywhere but real value lies in the wisdom of someone who has tried and tested their ideas and knowledge and will be able to tell you from real life experience what worked and what didn’t work. Then adopt their wisdom as your own.

2. Be able to adapt. Not everything everyone will tell you will work, so take what you think is relevant to your situation and adapt it to suit you. At the same time learn to be a little flexible, not necessarily with your “whats” but more with your “hows”. Success often comes when we learn to be more adaptable with our approach to people and change. What if? What if it doesn’t work…what if it does, tilt the scales in your mind to tilt the scales in your favor. So, adopt and adapt and always apply and multiply – try it and teach it.

“Failure builds character because your last mistake is your best teacher!”

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