When we were children we spent more time making mistakes, and enjoying them, than we have ever done as adults. Take a look at the most successful people around you. Either at work, at home, or out in the world right now and throughout history. They successful because they dared to fail in order to succeed. There is no failure, only feedback…. 

The Power of Failure

Ok I agree, of course there is failure. When you take your driving test you either get it right or get it wrong, pass or fail. The people in your team at work will either succeed in achieving their performance targets or fail to meet them. The key to the power of failure is how you perceive ‘failure’. 

Every fail should be looked at as a learning opportunity, by doing so you out in to action the learning. We learn more from a failure than we do from getting things right. This is evident with Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb. Having made more than 10,000 failures, he continued until he made it a physical reality, making small but different changes in each attempt at success. He said that every discarded idea took him one step closer towards finding the idea that would work. 

Self Coach

The two most powerful self-coaching questions you can ask yourself is “what will I do differently next time?” or “What can I learn from this?” Those who make mistakes and learn from the mistake do better than people who have a “Fear of Failure”. So, if you and your team are encouraged to see that when they don’t achieve what is necessary they have an opportunity to learn. Because they have been given the best feedback on what NOT to do next time.

Favourite Failures

Reading Richard Branson’s autobiography I realise he is one of my favourite failures because I get the impression that he actually enjoys failure. he learns from everything he does and never gives up. Because of this he is one of the wealthiest men on the planet and his businesses go from strength to strength. Failing does not stop him from trying something new. He learns from every experience, be that failure or success.

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 of my other favourites failures are Henry Ford who had two failed businesses before the Ford Motor Company. What about Walt Disney? who was fired from a newspaper for laking in ideas, seriously??? Oh and Beethoven was told by his music teacher that he was a hopeless composer. 

Everything new you try, you take a risk that you may or may not get it right. In fact the chances of getting something right on the first attempt are very limited. Yet, nothing ventured nothing gained.

If you have the Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained view with an attitude to learn from every experience it will, it will support you in every area of your personal and professional life. Start everything aiming towards success, allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them as they are the best experiences you could ask for. Set yourself goals and work towards them.

What has been your biggest mistake/learning experience?