Can I confess something?
I'm an epic failure. But I prefer it this way.
I'm sure this confession just instilled a ton of confidence in my brand to potential clients and partners. But let me explain.
I'm the type of guy who likes to succeed. I like to be the best at what I do, or at the very least, make a good showing at whatever I do. But you know what I hate? Failing.
I hate it, when I put myself out there, give it everything I've got, to try my best, and to fail. All of my life, this fear of failure has gripped me. When I would start something, I'd bail as soon as it got difficult. As soon as I hit resistance, I'd cut and run. Why? Because I'd rather get out early instead of being a failure. I could always justify it to myself - "I didn't fail; I blew it off."
I'm not saying that you should foolishly hold on when something is doomed. If the Titanic is going down, you don't stay at the helm saying, "I can right this ship, and I won't give up." Sometimes it's time to cut and run - you have to have a healthy exit strategy. But in life, you learn by failing. The greatest minds in history have reached success on a road paved with failures. To paraphrase someone famous who I haven't looked up, "In the history of everything that works, there was a time when it didn't."
And that's the hard part. Before something great is made, you have to fail at it. Sometimes, that failure is spectacular. But it's not the failure that matters - it's the trying again. And again. And once more. Because you'll get there and you'll achieve it. Failure is a beautiful thing when you learn from it.
So I'm trying to let myself fail more - to see something through to the end, rather than cutting out when it gets difficult. Earlier this year, I ran my first 5k, which wasn't just a 5k, but a wooded, hilly obstacle course being chased by zombies and being zapped by electrical wires. It was difficult. I didn't prepare the right way. But I finished it (I'm infected, by the way. I WANT YOUR BRAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIINS!). And when I finished, I felt a sense of accomplishment and elation I haven't felt ... well, really ever. It was a huge deal for me. I signed up for more races that I'm running this summer.
Do you let yourself fail? Are you willing to not be great at something so that, eventually, you can be great at it? Find something that terrifies you, and try it. Give it your best shot. You might surprise yourself with what you can accomplish.