I HATE FAILURE.
I LOVE SUCCESS.
It is essential for every person who is serious about achieving significant personal and business growth to work with a a meeting in January, my coach and I developed an action plan that included the execution of this one particular activity. Everything else stemmed from that. I agreed to it. It didn’t look scary. It didn’t seem so big, but I have had a heck of a time executing it and I couldn’t figure out why.
I have come to realize that my hatred of failure has stopped me dead in my big a-ha moment was recognizing that I was actually deathly afraid of failure. As my coach guided me through this I saw clearly that Own Business Careers it is because I am afraid failure will make me look “less than”. Do you know what I mean? I will look less than perfect, less than successful. It is much more fun to look successful! Even if it is a lie.
When God wants you to get a message, he will send it to you multiple times. Often, I get hit on the head with it! This one was extremely painful. It cut me to my core and it is so clear now… how did I never see it before?
First, my coach and mentor, Suzanne Evans, kept challenging me and I kept telling her that she was wrong. Fear of failure isn’t my problem I insisted.
Next, I read “Managing Yourself: The Paradox of Excellence” by Thomas DeLong and Sara DeLong published in the Harvard Business Review. I’m excellent, right? So I read it. “High achievers often let anxiety about their performance compromise their progress. Because they’re used to having things come easily to them, they tend to shy away from assignments that test them. They have successful images to preserve, so instead of embracing risk, they hunker down at the expense of personal growth.”
At first I dismissed this point. I like to learn new things – I don’t care what people think of me. But I realized that I don’t like to fail and so I don’t test myself. “First, you have to take a hard look at yourself and identify the forces that escalate your anxieties and cause you to turn to unproductive behaviors for relief. You must adopt practices that give you courage to step out of your comfort zone,” the DeLongs report.
Then, I was talking to my friend and coach Karen, who challenged me about not following through. “What are you afraid of? Are you afraid you aren’t good enough to do this? Really? After all the success your clients have had over the decade of consulting you have done?”
“Yes,” I said. I finally stated my truth.
The DeLongs report that “it’s hard to exorcise past demons until you have looked at them dispassionately from multiple points of view. Almost without exception, overwhelming feelings of inadequacy are in our own minds.” When I reviewed the events that I considered failures, I found that in EVERY instance I had delivered what I promised and unfortunately, it was the client hadn’t followed through and that happens but it wasn’t because I had failed. Big lesson!
I realized that I could have blamed my coach for the fact that I was not achieving the growth rate I had planned for 2011. But really the problem was that I hadn’t followed through on our action plan. I had stalled and if I hadn’t worked through this issue I would have stayed stuck. She hadn’t failed….I had to exorcise my demons.
The final message from God came via Derrick Rose! While watching the Bulls first game against the Heat, I saw the statistic that 31 of their 103 points came from second chance shots. Nearly a third of their points came because the first shot failed and they tried again.
I can do that. I can embrace failure and try again and then succeed.
“To achieve continued success, you must open yourself up to new learning experiences that many make you feel uncertain at best and incompetent Organizational Consulting Firms at worst. Remember that those feelings are temporary and a prelude to greater ability,” the DeLongs write encouragingly.
Update: I have broken my new venture into steps and have met with much greater success than I thought! It all comes from my passionate desire to help retailers like yourself get more profit and love your life. Just wait until you see all I have planned!
Here’s the thing, I got through all of this with help. If I didn’t have that help, it is likely that I may never have gotten to this point which has allowed me to thrive in my business at a bigger level.
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I HATE FAILURE.