Let’s start with a small exercise.
Think back five to ten years ago to something you lost—whether it was a job, a relationship, a promotion that didn’t happen—anything that felt like a huge failure or loss at the time.
How do you feel about that failure today?
Would you still call it a failure? Or would you consider it a pivotal moment in getting where you are today?
If you’re like almost all of my clients, you feel pretty good about it. In fact, almost all of my clients answer with one of the following responses:
- If that had worked out the way I wanted, I wouldn’t be where I am today
- If that had happened, I wouldn’t be who I am today
- Thank God that didn’t work out the way I wanted!
- If I had _____ like I wanted, I would have lost everything that mattered to me
- Oh, that would have been terrible. I had no idea at the time.
In the moment, though, every client has admitted that the “failure” they experienced at the time was devastating before they pulled themselves together and reevaluated what they had learned from the experience.
The sense of failure is not permanent if you allow yourself to learn from it.
For business leaders, failure often means:
- Acquiring new knowledge
- Opening up new opportunities for growth
- Learning from mistakes
- Getting a new job
- Starting a new company
- Developing new skills and abilities
- Refocusing efforts towards better goals
If failure leads to positive changes, why are we so afraid of it?
Leaders naturally want to limit the risk of failure in everything they do. Without failure, however, we don’t have growth. And when we allow the fear of failure to keep us from moving forward, we put up mental blocks that keep us from making positive change and gaining new experiences.
What if we recognize failure and loss as the illusion it is?
If you are able to recognize that failure and loss are just illusions built out of fear, then you can get rid of that fear entirely and see opportunities as positive experiences whether they work out the way you want them to or not.
Changing your perspective on failure is never easy and takes ongoing work to remain open to the possibilities around you.
As a business coach, overcoming fears is a large part of my work and the Spark Back program has been specifically designed to help professionals just like you overcome their fears, learn to dream again, and transform their patterns of thought.
I’d love to hear about events in your life that you felt were a failure at the time, but later realized were just the start to amazing new opportunities and chapters in your life!
Feel free to comment below to share your story or send your stories to Hello@thesparkback.com.