How to Succeed at Failure: Five Ways to Get Over Your Fear
Jen Glantz, WE NYC Mentor
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The scary truth is that no matter what you’re trying do, whether starting a new business or working toward a promotion at your current workplace, at some point you’ll have to look failure in the eye. It’s a normal part of what we all go through when working hard toward what seems like a distant goal.

The problem is that we’re usually told not to harp on failure. When we don’t do well on a test in school or we don’t get an internship that we had our fingers crossed for, we’re taught to move on and just focus on doing better next time.

But failure is not about doing better next time. It’s about learning what went wrong and recognizing those missteps as growing pains. To move forward and grow a business, or even achieve personal growth, we must experience those pains.

So how we do look failure in the eye and find a way to smile at it? How do we find a way to appreciate and learn from it? First, we must stop being scared of failure. With that in mind, here are five ways to get over the fear of failure.

Failure is not about doing better next time. It’s about learning what went wrong and recognizing those missteps as growing pains.

Jen Glantz

1. Step outside of your comfort zone

When you’re trying to improve yourself or your business, you should constantly attempt things that take you outside your comfort zone. Aim for things that are a bit risky or different from what you normally do. Then ask yourself: “How much am I willing to lose?” Put a price tag on how much money and time you’re willing to sacrifice to try something new – whether creating a product or learning a new skill. If it doesn’t go well, you’ll know in advance what you are willing to risk.

2. Set large goals

Setting conservative goals limits your potential level of success. To achieve larger success, you need to set larger goals, ones you may not accomplish on the first or even the second try. If you don’t accomplish your goal immediately, you can write those experiences off as research instead of looking at your failure as a waste of time.

3. Evaluate what happened

When a product or a plan you’ve launched fails, instead of pushing it under the rug and ignoring it, take some quality time to pick apart exactly what didn't work and why. Was it the price point? The timing? The functionality? From there, you can jump back into the planning phase where you can make adjustments for the next round.

4. Turn it into a conversation

The greatest thing you can do when you find yourself eye-to-eye with failure is talk about it. Be open and honest about it with people you’re close to, whether those people are mentors, employees or family members. Talking it out with other people will help you better understand what happened and will also lead to engaging and changing your perspective.

5. Reach out to others

If you’re still terrified to take a chance and potentially fail, reach out to mentors or other entrepreneurs and ask them to tell you about times in the past they failed unexpectedly and how they used those moments as fuel to help them get closer to success.

You never know what you can achieve until you try. So muster up the courage to move forward with a plan that has the potential to catapult you closer to your big end goal. If you fail along the way, remember that everyone fails at some point. Find ways to remind yourself that failure is just another word for progress.