Skip Navigation

Are You Failing Enough?

By Michael Zipursky

On a call with one of my coaching students the other day I realized that one of the greatest obstacles you’ll come up against is the person you see in the mirror.

That’s right, YOU!

Have you ever felt the fear to pick up the phone and call a prospective client? Or how about waiting to launch your website or a direct mail campaign because things weren’t ‘quite right’ yet?

When you encounter failure or rejection, don’t take it personally.

The reality is, almost everyone one of us has faced some kind of fear like this that holds us back from moving forward and being successful.

What it comes down to is ‘fear of failure’.

You lose a project.

A client wants you to reduce your consulting fee, you don’t and they walk away.

You can look at these two situations and see failure. Be scared by it and then use it as an excuse not to move forward. Not to get more done.

Or you can view your failure as a lesson. Learn from it and move on.

Michael Jordan is famous for saying, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

The founder of Honda, Soichiro Honda said, “Success is 99 percent failure.”

Cy Young, who some consider to be the best pitcher of all time had 511 victories. Most people don’t talk about that he also lost just as many games.

When you encounter failure or rejection, don’t take it personally.

Learn from it, adjust, improve and move on.

It’s the approach top performers take all around the world. It’s what you should be doing too.

15 thoughts on “Are You Failing Enough?

  1. Jessica says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Today I am struggling with rejection and overcoming failure. I honestly feel like it is about time for me to embark upon success. This is encoraging to my heart and it pushes me be a little more on today. I am thinking as I am typing this that if I set a goal of failing 20 times today, just maybe on attempt 21 I will succeed.

    • Jessica – learn from each failure. Take it as a lesson. As long as you’re learning from what you’re doing, you’ll keep correcting and improving and you’ll then reach success.

      • Jessica says:

        Thank you

  2. Bill Fisher says:

    So right, you could have mentioned your man Lincoln who did not give up. Our hero Churchill had many failures. In our business we have a saying ‘If you are not losing some you are not trying hard enough’ Use failure to increase determination. Maybe the next day though!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Michael –

    In the paragraph beginning with “Have you ever…” I think that you meant “because things WEREN’T quite right yet.”

    Otherwise, quite a nice piece, except that when I was a younger person, we called it “call reluctance.”

  4. Mike says:

    I agree, you can’t take rejection as failure. Instead the situation should be viewed as a puzzle. Figure out what didn’t work, what needs to be changed, and make the change. Don’t take it personally.

    • Omar Albashir says:

      Words of nature, but acquired through experience! many thanks. I can still remember when i was asked to draft my first proposal and submitted without knowing what a proposal was all about. It was a great lesson and the start of my journey.

      • Omar Albashir says:

        It could not go through but the the other party was kind enough “not to hold my ignorance against me”. I then started reading any available written material on the topic. This happened more than a decade ago, and i am still hungry for more books on the topic. One thing for sure: to propose better or best solutions, client’s needs and wants must be very clear at the beginning. If no guideline is offered, then “question and answer session” is the way.

  5. I have a saying which I never hesitate to tell my clients from time to time;
    “A good failure is much better than a trashy victory.”

    In a world where everything is changing constantly, the only way to real success is to educate ourselves through facing each situation as it presents itself and then move on to the next one.
    In the end, life goes on.
    It was a great article.
    Be Victorious!

Leave a Comment, Join the Conversation!