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One of the most common responses I received after sending out the question, “What is the biggest challenge you have in pursuing your passion full time?” was “Fear of failure.” Today, we dissect failure, and get to the deeper issues of the mindset needed to face this fear. We talk about why there is no such thing as a person who is a failure or a person who is a success.

Show Notes
  • 04:22 Failure is not the worst that can happen. Your fear of it is.
  • 06:06 People aren’t necessarily as afraid of failure itself as they are afraid of what failure might mean.
  • Defining Failure
  • 06:42 It helps to define what failure really looks like to you. Otherwise, you have this fear of abstract failure for which you don’t really have a solid understanding. There are a number of specific fears we might have:
    • Losing approval or affirmation of someone whose opinion you care a lot about.
    • Something you put out not attaining a certain level of popularity you want.
    • Falling short of making a monetary goal.
    • Not growing by a rate that you hoped.
  • “I tried and I failed…”
  • 11:47 “… now what?”
  • 13:38 If you imagine yourself failing, it may be more likely that you do.
  • If you focus on where you want to end up, intermediate failures don’t even matter. They’re just bumps in the road.

  • 14:47 There is a tendency to associate ourselves with our failures, and think “Only failures fail…” but that’s wrong!
  • 15:00 “I failed, therefore I’m a failure.” This thinking is indicative of an identity issue. There is no such thing as a person who is a failure or a person who is a success.
  • 15:30 It’s a mindset of how you react to the results of something that you did.
  • 17:31 Failure can be extremely useful if treated as course correction.
  • Failure is not the end—it doesn’t mean that it’s over—it just means that you get to continue with experience.

  • 18:19 You are not the results of what you do. It’s how you react to the results—whether they are what you want them to be or not—that matters.
  • 18:59 In order to be successful, you do have to take risks. There are no perfect steps or formulas that work infallibly.
  • 20:01 When we fear failure, we rob ourselves. Success requires failure but we must embrace failure as a catalyst in order for it to beget success.
  • 20:26 Success requires failure, but failure doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be successful. You have to treat failure as an enabler for it to bring you to success. It’s a mindset of embracing those failures as course correction. Successful people fail way more than other people want to. But it’s not the end for them.
  • Successful Failures
  • 23:46 A successful failure is one that you have recognized as a failure and learned something from.
  • 23:57 If viewed in the right way, failure can make you stronger. But you have to allow it and look for the things that you can correct. If you have this kind of mindset, then failures can be golden. The hard-earned lessons are the ones that you’re going to remember the most.
  • 24:25 You will internalize lessons learned during failure way more than if someone else told you. You can hear people give you advice all day, but it’s not going to sink in until you have that experience.
  • Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.

    –Henry Ford

  • Your Response to Failure is What Matters
  • 28:12 What can you control? There are certain things within your control, and there are factors that are outside your control. Failures happen, and it’s not always as a result of things that you did, or things that you didn’t do.
  • 28:37 You can’t control the things you can’t control.
  • 28:44 But what you can always control is your response to failure. You can control how you react to it, and whether you see it as a good thing or whether you see it as a bad thing.
  • 33:23 If you want to be successful, then don’t see failure as an ending. Failure is an inevitability because it happens. Failure is a catalyst. It’s your mindset that determines where you end up. If you think you’re going to be a failure, then whenever you do fail, you see yourself as a failure. If you think you’re going to be a success, then whenever you fail it’s simply a closed door or a bump in the road.