I’m not sure about you but pretty much my whole life I have been anxious even terrified at times to fail at something. I didn’t want to do bad on tests and projects in school, to not be hired after a job interview, or to not make a sports team that I tried out for. I didn’t want to feel disappointed in myself and worse to feel like others were disappointed in me. Overall I didn’t want to put myself out there in case I would feel rejected.
It took me a really long time to wrap my head around the idea of failing not actually being a bad thing. Even the word fail sounds terrible. But somehow we need to shift our perspective on the word and the experiences that we associate with it. We are supposed to make mistakes so that we can learn. I think our lives are about constantly growing, and becoming the best self possible. How can we do that without hardships, big mistakes, and sometimes failures?
If you talk to some of the most successful people today, they would say that they have failed, most often multiple times. The difference is that they learnt from it; that it helped them to grow and be better. Ironically, often something that we initially thought was a huge flunk turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
So rather than being scared to fail and disappoint people, we should be afraid to miss an opportunity. We should be worried that if we don’t go for our dream job, or put ourselves out there to make new friends, or attempt to try something that we aren’t experienced in, that we’re going to miss out on something that could change our lives. Maybe the job you thought you weren’t qualified for was the perfect fit for you and your skill set was exactly what the company was looking for. Maybe the group of friends that you want to be part of but don’t think you’ll fit into has your future best friend. Maybe the new thing that you have no experience in is something that you are naturally talented and passionate about. How are you going to know until you try?
One of my favourite quotes is from a Canadian hockey legend, Wayne Gretzky. He said “You miss 100% of the shots that you don't take.” It’s so simple and yet so true. If you don’t go for something, you’ll never know if you would have been successful at it or not. You may wonder for the rest of your life what could have been. Are you prepared to do that? All because you’re afraid of failure? Why do we give that feeling or the idea of failing so much power?
Fortunately, when I think about what I will regret more about a situation, it really pushes me to step out of my comfort zone and go for things in life. My business, Her Future is a perfect example. I talked about the concept of it for a year before I finally started working on it. One day I realised that if I did nothing but have the idea of Her Future, in five, ten, twenty years I would have wondered what would or could have happened if I had actually done something. That was the push that I needed because I could not live the rest of my life wondering about how my life could have been and you shouldn’t either.
Life is about growing your inherent strengths and part of the journey is finding where that fits into this world. But believe in yourself, believe in you and what you are capable of. Step out of your comfort zone to learn and grow. Most importantly remember to not be afraid to fail but instead to miss that amazing opportunity.
By: Cortnie Bornyk