When I sacked the boss and decided to not go back to my legal career, my mission was to discover a new way of being successful without the sacrifices I’d made both consciously and subconsciously, but my biggest fear was failure!
Coming from the cut throat corporate world of law, competitiveness rather than collaboration is standard, so it was scary to think of those who would watch and rub their hands together in delight if I failed and had to return to the law. As a successful woman, the fear of failure was hugely magnified! Maybe you can relate? What other people may think is often more important to us than how we actually feel.
But the truth is our failure is inevitable and really not that bad either. Our failures or perceived failures are our biggest opportunities for growth and learning. Often it can give us permission to begin a new and different, more exciting path.
After more than a decade in the legal profession, my ‘failure’ in not securing partnership gave me just the opportunity I needed to follow my heart and set out in becoming an entrepreneur.
My ‘failure’ in setting up my first business back to front was a huge learning curve that I share daily with my clients and potential clients. My second business whilst successful led to me still sacrificing and a lack of fulfilment. This experience spirited my tag line ‘design success on your terms’. Do it your way and never settle for less. Success means different things to different people.
Last week, I was looking after my 8 year old nephew. He wanted to stay up late but I had a call booked in with a client which he suggested I could cancel. When I pointed out clients pay for their sessions with me, he laughed and said “People pay you to speak to them, you can’t do that for a job”. But I can of course as people pay me to coach and advise them because of my successes as well as my failures. I was leaning success against the wrong wall for me but I was also the woman who insisted she change that, no matter what.
‘Failure is simply a sign you need to change direction’ – Oprah Winfrey
The truth is we never fail in business we only learn and real success is built on failure after failure rather than successes alone. Successful people celebrate in public what they have practised for years in private.
So are you scared of failing? Are you frozen and stuck where you are just in case you might fail at trying something new?
How about people like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison? Both of them ‘failed’ hundreds of time when inventing the Ford Car and lightbulb. People laughed and said “you can’t do that, it will never work” but it did.
‘I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 1000 ways which do not work’ – Thomas Edison
But imagine if neither had tried because of their fear of failure or rejection? Or if they’d given up because of their perceived failures?
‘Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently’ – Henry Ford
There is not a successful person I know who hasn’t failed along the way. Often their biggest failures have been the thing to place them on the right path for them.
The truth is if you want to do something bigger and different which totally excites you, then failure and rejection is inevitable on the way!! They will be your biggest lessons and set you on a path better than you can have ever imagined. I always say I am glad I became the woman who’s fear of change became bigger than her fear of change.
If you are not failing somewhere, you are not stretching yourself or thinking big enough. You’re staying well within your comfort zone and we all know, nothing grows in your comfort zone. If you’re not happy where you are right now, then make your failure this – this time next year you are in exactly the same place as you are right now.
If you choose to set out in becoming the entrepreneur you were always born to be (yes & you totally know if that’s you), embrace the failures, love the rejection and ask yourself what can I learn from this? Because there will always be invaluable lessons to learn and share along the way.