Some people have the notion that if they “Can’t do it right, they won’t do it at all.”

This is a strategy to avoid the possibility and likelihood of failure. I find that ironic since failure in business is inevitable. If you are playing the game of business, it will happen. You will fail. Every choice, effort and move you make has to line up just right to get your intended outcome. It makes sense that it will not happen at times.

I have noticed that people who are very accomplished have a healthy relationship with failure. They embrace it, look out for it, learn from their mistakes and move on. Sometimes they even publicize their failures, modelling the kind of leadership they want to see in their employees. They know that who they are is not measured by their results.

richMost of us only see these high powered, accomplished individuals when they are in the public and enjoying success. We do not see the everyday struggles, disappointments and failures. On the phone with my clients, I have a privileged point of view. I hear the hesitation, the pain, the disappointment as well as the wins, successes and accomplishments.

Accomplished people seem to understand some simple truths: that they are not their mistakes and they are not their behaviors. Both of these are changeable. They seem to understand that we as human beings are prone to failure and mistakes. They are people who can fall down, smile, pick themselves up and keep going. They also know in their heart that when they fail at something, they are not a failure. When they make a mistake, they are not the mistake. When they do something wrong, they are not wrong.

200412016-001I have also noticed that successful people seem less unlikely to avoid their feelings such as rejection, suffering, self-doubt, fear, depression and dissatisfaction. One of my clients said: “It’s just part of the ride. It is normal to have fears sometimes, to feel lost and to be disappointed. I wouldn’t trade any of this for a dull cubicle and a steady salary”. Confident people understand that mastery is a succession of failures, not wins. They understand that you have to be bad at something and keep going to master it. Failure and success are events. Whatever emotion or circumstance has been stopping you, I encourage you to go for it now.