The Power of Failure

 In Goal Setting, Leadership, Organisational Performance, Success

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The most successful people in the world right now and throughout history are so because they dared to fail in order to succeed. There is no failure, only feedback….

Of course there is failure. If you take a driving test or exam you either pass or fail. Sales people will either succeed in achieving their monthly sales targets or fail to meet them. The key is how you perceive ‘failure’. Every failure can be looked at as a learning opportunity that is beautifully epitomised by Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb. Despite more than 10,000 failures, he stood by his dream until he made it a physical reality. He said that every discarded idea took him one step closer towards finding the idea that would work. One of the most powerful self-coaching questions you can ask is “what will I do differently next time?” or “What can I learn from this?” Those who make mistakes and learn from the mistakes have a tendency to do better than people who are scared to fail. Therefore, if you can encourage yourself to see that when you don’t achieve your targets you have an opportunity to learn because you have been given great feedback on what not to do next. learn from this and then plan how to do it even better next time.

Richard Branson has lost far more money than most people will earn in a lifetime, in fact reading his autobiographies you would get the impression that he actually enjoys failure. Yet he is still one of the richest men on the planet and his businesses go from strength to strength. he doesn’t allow his failures to stop him from trying something new. He learns from every experience, be that failure or success. He has learnt from every mistake and taken them on to be successful the next time.

Richard Branson dares to take action knowing that he may fail, or in his words

“My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them” Richard Branson

Some other great failures are Henry Ford, two failed businesses before the Ford Motor Company. Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for laking in ideas. Beethoven was told by his music teacher that he was a hopeless composer.

Every time you try something new you take a risk that you may or may not be successful in the new venture, nothing ventured nothing gained.

If you have the Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained viewpoint it will really help you move forward and learn and develop in every area of your personal and professional life. Start everything aiming towards success, and learn from mistakes as they are the best experiences you could ask for. As we move forward in 2013 it will be those that dare to take a risk, those that know failure might happen and do it anyway, those that build strong businesses to rival that of Mr Branson who will be the most successful for those are the ones that are constantly learning and constantly growing.

What has been your biggest learning experience?

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