Brian Tracy, a renowned motivational speaker and author, says we are fortunate that all fears are learned- meaning they can be un-learned by practicing self-discipline.
He goes further1:
“The most common fears that we experience, which often sabotage all hope for success, are the fears of failure, poverty, and loss of money. These fears cause people to avoid risk of any kind and to reject opportunity when it is presented to them. They are so afraid of failure that they are almost paralyzed when it comes to taking any chances at all”
That fear of failure can even happen to the world’s most successful people. The difference for successful individuals, though, is that they make the effort to try something and learn from it. They take risks; action!
You know, with Mother’s Day coming up I recall talking one time to Dot Jeter (Derek Jeter’s mother). She told me her favorite line to use was simple: “Do something!” She never let her kids be discouraged by failure and has always encouraged them to look at what’s next.You could say that’s. Derek’s done pretty well for himself as shortstop for the Yankees and Sharlee’s been an integral part of growing the Turn 2 Foundation, which is now one of the top charitable organizations in the country.
There is a direct correlation between “try and triumph.” Success many times is overrated compared to the importance of failure- and learning from it. Most highly successful people have had a life time of so many failures but usually only get recognized for the success.
What did Edison say? “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” –now there’s someone that was determined to be successful. Here’s a guy that held 1,093 patents in the U.S., the majority of which all failed, yet he still went on to invent some of the most ground-breaking technology in human history.
(A side-note: one of Edison’s ventures, the Edison Portland Cement Company struggled for over 20 years and was barely surviving until it was commissioned to provide the concrete for the original Yankee Stadium in 1922…how’s THAT for a Yankees connection!)
It’s important to recognize that successful people are more likely to have a high tolerance for risk and are willing to try more things which enable them to eventually succeed.
Recently I read Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness, the story of how he built Zappos. One of my favorite parts was his honesty about failing, how often it happened and other details. I highly recommend it.
It’s funny that when I go and speak to different groups, the corporate crowd usually has questions about Jeter or taking down old Yankee Stadium, but when I speak to college kids and younger sales people, their questions center around my biggest failures and the unusual problems I had in building Steiner Sports. I suppose there must be hope for our future.
Remember, the most important thing is to take action!
1 Tracy, Brian. “Success Failure.” Brian Tracy’s Blog. N.p., 20 Oct. 2011. Web. 07 May 2014. http://www.briantracy.com/blog/personal-success/fight-or-flight-overcoming-your-fears/#more-4280