Last week I was chatting it up with one of my new friendprenures, Kimberly Alexander, business coach and author of The Results Map. We were talking about the #1 thing that keeps women from being successful in business is the fear of failure. And this fear has all these different forms: procrastination, perfectionism, excuses, and distractions, blaming and repeating things that don’t work because you are familiar with them. The list goes on and on into infinity…The Black Hole.
It is crucial that you master your emotions. That doesn’t mean don’t have them, or pretend you don’t have disappointments expectations or judgments. Failure is definitely going to happen. It’s what you do with it that makes all the difference in your success and your fortune.
- Change Your Focus.
What you focus on grows. So if it’s something you don’t want, don’t keep focusing on it. Start by asking yourself “What am I interested in?” It’s easy to focus on failure and feeling bad but that isn’t really what you are interested in, is it? We all have been so programed to see what’s missing, lacking or didn’t work, we don’t see what went right. So down the rabbit hole we go, turning it all to sh*t saying things like “I never will…I can’t…I failed”. When you find yourself in that reality, turn your attention to what went RIGHT. What worked? What was good about the situation…Change your reality to a Win.
Madonna dropped out of college, moved to New York, and took a job at Dunkin’ Donuts in Times Square, where she apparently didn’t last a day. What sealed the deal was when she squirted jelly filling all over a customer.
- Give up being a Victim (forever)
You have the right and the power to make choices. And if those choices don’t work for you, make new ones. How this shows up for me is I stop listening to myself and go out of my body on autopilot letting things “happen to me” and that is always a disaster. I don’t speak up and say “NO”. Nothing makes me crazier than when I do this…So I turn it into an opportunity to love myself more. One of the things that I say when I make a mistake or fail is “I am so sexy!” And that can instantly make me feel a little better…At least bring a smile to the situation.
- Let Go, Be Flexible and Change Course
How you react to failure or challenges has everything to do with how successful you will become. This is something that always impresses me about my mentors and the people that I admire. They don’t dwell on what’s not working…They acknowledge it and quickly move, change direction and make it work. Ever had a conversation with someone about how to solve a problem and you can come up with a million ways they could do it and all they come up with is all the reasons it won’t work? It’s like they are arguing for their smallness and being powerless (that makes me totally cray-cray).
Instead, look at the challenging situation or failure as an opportunity. Ask yourself “Who do I need to BE to make this into a success? Or who do I need to be next time to insure this is a success? Every time we fail it’s a tremendous opportunity for growth and development and honing skills.
And here are three of my favorite failures to success:
Marilyn Monroe – was told by modeling agents early in her career that she should consider being a secretary instead.
Oprah Winfrey – was fired from her job as a television reporter because she was unfit for TV.
Barbra Streisand’s – Broadway debut opened and closed on the same night.