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Avoid Failure #2 May 24, 2010

Posted by Brian L. Belen in The Daily Grind.
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There are two kinds of failure.

The first we’re all familiar with: you try, you fail. Maybe the idea was inane. Maybe you tried your hardest but luck wasn’t on your side. Maybe the deck was really stacked against you. Regardless, it stings to have stuck your neck out that way, to leave yourself vulnerable like that, to open the door for people to laugh at you, and ultimately fail.

The second we’re also familiar with. It’s when we think about all that could go wrong when faced with a new opportunity that we’re blinded to what can go right. It’s when we’re prodded to get out of our comfort zones and in the process see crisis, calamity and disaster. It’s when you decide against running because you imagine how hard the course is going to be. It’s when you forego sending in your resume because you decide you don’t have a shot. It’s when you opt not to bet on your business idea because in your mind’s eye that business you haven’t even started has already gone bankrupt.

The former hurts but it’s the latter that’s really fatal: failure before you’ve even tried. Its nothing more than anxiety, which Seth Godin acutely describes as merely failure experienced in advance. It’s self-defeating: give in to anxiety and it will suck out your very will to succeed.

Nobody likes to fail. But worse than failure is never having even tried.

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