Why Failure Should be Part of Your Business Plan

When I got hired to coach my first client I was ecstatic and did a little happy dance around the room to celebrate, it felt like my dream of making an impact and doing the work that I love was finally becoming a reality.  But the excitement was quickly replaced by a stomach twisting fear. What if I fail? What if my client doesn’t get results? Who am I to do this? What if I fall flat on my face?

The fear was so intense it almost made me want to call her back and cancel.  But of course I didn’t, or I wouldn’t be here today. Instead I showed up and gave her my absolute best.  It was far from perfect, I was nervous, I worried to much about saying the wrong thing and I even lost focus a few times.  But I put my heart and soul into it and gave it my best shot. It was perfectly imperfect. She ultimately got results and I learned something new and I got better at my craft with every single session.

My guess is that fear of failure is something you might be familiar with too.  It’s the number one thing that most of my clients tell me stands between them and achieving their goals - so we go to work helping them remove this as a roadblock and instead reframe failure as a good thing – and I want to help you do this too.

We have to start by getting clear on what you’re actually afraid of.  When you say you’re afraid to fail - what exactly are you afraid of? When we really drill down, we discover that when we imagine the worst case scenario happening what we are really afraid of is having to experience the negative emotions that go along with it.  We are trying to avoid feeling something we don’t want to feel.

But here’s the good news about our feelings – they are always generated from our thoughts and beliefs – and YOU have total control over what you choose to think and believe.  So if what you’re really afraid of is experiencing the negative emotions that would accompany an epic fail, you can avoid that by deciding ahead of time what you’ll choose to believe about yourself if things don’t turn out as planned.

When we set a goal to do something we’ve never done before, there’s no way to know for sure if we’ll be able to achieve it.  We have to take a risk, try something we’re unfamiliar with and trust that we’ll learn as we go. The BEST way to learn, is to take bold action and then learn from the results.

If you didn’t get the results that you wanted, take a look at what didn’t work, make a change and try again.  THIS is what ultimately builds confidence and creates success over time: a willingness to fail, a willingness to get it wrong, maybe even time and time again, knowing that every step contains valuable learning and brings you closer to your goal.

This is how I choose to view failure – it’s a valuable part of my business plan and my willingness to fail means I’m willing to play a BIG game and I’m willing to set goals I don’t know how to achieve (yet).  I’m willing to take a risk and I’m willing to fall flat on my face once in a while because I know that I’ll have my own back. When I try something new and fail, I won’t go into self-beat up mode and I won’t make it mean that I’m a failure.  I’ll simply know that I’m one step closer to my goal – and I’ll love myself through the experience. Then I’ll take what I’ve learned and try again.

How about you?  Would you be willing to double your failure rate this year if it meant you could reach your big vision faster and live the epic life you’re meant for?  It’s time to transform that fear of failure into faith in yourself. Cheers to big dreams and bold dreams sister! You’ve got this.