When you say the word ‘fail’, how does it make you feel? If you’re anything like me, you’ll be thinking some negative thoughts right now that you’ll want to turn off right away. The words fail or failure bring up distressing thoughts for most people.
What if you thought of failure as success? Say the word success five times. How does that make you feel? Success is a word that makes most of us feel fantastic. Play a little trick on your brain. Decide to think success thoughts in response to the word failure. How does it feel to say the word failure and have your brain think of success? Are you able to do it? Try it again. Try it with a friend, family member or colleague.
The fact is, many successes have happened strictly because of failures. Of course it depends on what you consider a failure to be. The other day I was reading about American heroes and it said Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times. Most of us think of Babe Ruth as a totally successful baseball player. The article said Thomas Edison had a thousand failures when he was attempting to invent a light bulb that could be mass-produced. I love his answer during an interview: “I have not failed 1000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 1000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”
Most of us would have given up long before we reached the thousand mark. Personally, I strive to be more like Edison and think positively, even about situations I might previously have considered to be failures. Edison came up with a lot of useful, life-changing inventions, even though he must have felt some big-time discouragement along the way.
Without failure, success would have no meaning. For most of us, our successes are rated in relation to our failures. Think of your failures as steps in the stairway to success. Each failure will take you a notch closer to where you want to be.
Think back in your business and make a mental list of a couple of failures you experienced. Did they move you toward success? Most entrepreneurs will recognize that their so-called failures helped move them toward success. Is that true for you?
Find a way to subtly suggest to your employees or business colleagues that there is a different way to look at failures. Share some of your ‘hiccups’ in your business and explain how you feel they helped you move forward. Talk about valuable lessons you learned from failures and how, as a result, some new, positive attitudes became part of your philosophy. Sharing these thoughts can help others and as a bonus, you’ll move forward too.
Who knows? Your positive outlook in regard to failures is likely to help someone else become wildly successful in their business. Before long you’ll be a mentor, helping other entrepreneurs achieve remarkable professional goals.