Does the fear of failure tempt you to throw in the towel?
If so, allow me to share an inspiring conversation I had the other day to hopefully help you use the fear of failure in your favour!
I know you’re likely thinking I have ‘inspiring’ conversations all the time (which I do) and while I will be the first to admit I can turn just about anything into a blog post; I feel this will truly empower you if you occasionally feel discouraged.
On Monday morning after dropping the kids off at school I ran into a friend who just so happens to be an actor. You may have heard of him too; his name is Lochlyn Munro. We, by the way call him “Rick”.
I met Rick and his wife about three years ago when they moved into our neighbourhood. Since then, we have developed a nice friendship, and our children often spend time together.
We don’t usually discuss Rick’s career though, even though it is intriguing to me. It’s just a job to him… albeit one that he loves, but to be honest he seems to be working so much and out of town on movie shoots that I’ve rarely had the opportunity to ask many questions.
One thing I can say though is he is a lovely down to earth person, in fact both he and his wife Sharon are the poster-people of positive and are genuinely kind and giving.
Now I know on the outside, a person may look at Ricks’ schedule and career and think “wow he’s got it made”, or “he’s so lucky” but the truth is that he has worked very hard to get to where he is and its taken dedication.
While I know he’s grateful and counts his blessings, he shared a few nuggets of info with me that to be honest… I initially found surprising.
He told me he’s no stranger to the fear of failure, or perhaps an equally effective word might be rejection; in any event he expressed that it’s really a matter of how you let it affect you and added if he let every disappointment stop him in his tracks his career would have been over long ago.
He shared that building a career in the film industry is like any other industry. You have to endure failures and disappointments like the rest of the world but you must never let it get in the way of your goals or dampen your moral.
He explained there have been many times over the years he’s auditioned for various positions and felt both hopeful and excited, only to learn that he didn’t get the parts.
What’s worse, he told me that it’s not always anything to do with talent either. In his industry there are usually many factors to be taken into consideration and furthermore, some are simply not within his control as I’ll explain a bit further on.
I’d like to interject here and add that he wasn’t speaking solely of all his own experiences, but the industry in general and how it compares to anything else; then drove home the fact that everyone faces similar road blocks regardless of our line of work.
Like internet marketing there are only a small percentage of people who actually make it and similarly it often has nothing to do with skill, brains, or talent, but more to do with personal strength, tenacity, and the willingness to carry on which further solidifies the fact that, success is always connected to attitude and mindset.
As we discussed these home truths, I recalled Jennifer Lopez on American Idol the other night encouraging a candidate to try again and to never give up. She also admitted she has faced her share of rejection and failures many times over, but because she refused to quit, she eventually got the break she was looking for.
Of course her spiel didn’t seem quite as personal, because it obviously wasn’t directed at me. Talking to Rick on the other hand struck a cord because I know him and it helped me to realize that more often than not everyone faces failure before they flourish!
Furthermore … and this made me chuckle, he shared there have been times he’s worked very hard preparing for an audition, felt to have nailed it, and likely would have … if only he was taller, shorter, heavier, or skinnier and in some cases “sexier”!! (LOL…Yikes!)
Nevertheless, regardless of the ‘blow’ (some worse than others )he keeps going with optimism and swears that having the right attitude is what gets you to the finish line.
I have to admit that I felt elated and very inspired by his honestly. It drove home the point that we are indeed all human and all deal with various levels of disappointment and often fear failure even if we don’t show it on the outside.
After our hour-long conversation, as I drove home I thought about other famous people who are now icons in our society, yet endured failure and rejection in the past.
Oprah Winfrey is a good example; she was fired from being a television reporter because she was told she wasn’t ‘fit’ for TV.
Stephen Kings’ book “Carrie” was rejected over 30+ times… to the point that he threw it in the garbage. I heard that if his wife hadn’t ‘rescued it’ and encouraged him to continue, he may not be one of the best selling authors of our time.
The Beatles were told that guitar music was on its way out and they were wasting their time in the music industry. .
The list goes on.
The point being that behind just about every successful person is a string of failures and/or rejection.
I know it’s easy to spend time in the ‘woe is me’ syndrome when you feel exasperated but you simply have to pick yourself up, brush yourself off and put your best foot forward to keep going with a smile on your face. Just know that the only way you’ll truly fail is if you quit.
Imagine how dismal the world would be if everyone let the fear of failure prevent them from progressing?!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We all come into the world the same way and we will all go out the same way (whether we like it or not).
None of us were born with a silver spoon or special privileges, yet some people succeed, and some don’t. The only reason for this is those who flourish pay little attention to the fear of failure while others (the larger majority) succumb to it.
Never lose sight of what sparked you to work towards your goal in the first place, and don’t let a few hiccups along the way diminish the importance.
Always look at challenges, disappointments and failure as the opportunity for improvement. Then with a smile on your mug…. keep going!
When the going get tough, the tough absolutely must get going. Slam dunk the fear of failure or at least use it to scare you to keep going so you too will eventually flourish!