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Tips on Succeeding from 4 Famous Failures

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretzky

Do you allow yourself to dream about how you would live your life if failure was simply not an option?

Scary, isn’t it?

But there’s something reassuring about never leaving your comfort zone.

So, you hate your job, but won’t leave because it’s secure. You’re bored out of your brains every Monday morning on the way and are repeating the ‘Thank God It’s Friday‘ mantra by the end of the week.

That’s another week gone. You turned up, did the same old stuff and clock watched as minutes and hours of your life simply ticked away.

Is fear of failure boxing you in?

The truth is, we all fail. If you never fail, you’re simply not trying hard enough. We’re hard wired to learn by failure. That’s why when we fall down as babies, we get right up again and give walking another try.

If footballers feared failure, they’d never take a shot at goal, because most of the time they miss!

If you allow yourself to really ‘think big‘, what would that big life look like?

You can feel inspired by some of the famous successes who started out as failures.

Bill Gates

‘I failed in some subjects in exam, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft.’

William Henry Gates dropped out of Harvard and started a business called Traf-O-Data at the age of 16. That business failed but he learned a lot from the experience and went on to found Microsoft.

Winston Churchill

‘Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.’

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill  was considered a complete failure at school and was absolutely miserable there. He failed his entrance exam to Sandhurst twice before gaining entrance at his third try.

He faced defeat at every single election for public office in which he ran, before he finally became Prime Minister of the UK at age 62.

Charles Darwin

‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.’

Charles Robert Darwin was a British naturalist best-known as one of the most famous and influential scientists of 19th century. In his 1859 publication On the Origin of Species he established that all life descended over time from common ancestry, and put forward the theory of evolution by a process of natural selection.

But at school but he showed little interest in his studies. He wrote;

“The school as a means of education to me was simply a blank. I learned absolutely nothing except by amusing myself reading and experimenting with chemistry.”

When, later, he gave up his medical career, his father told him;

‘You care for nothing but shooting dogs and catching rat and you will be nothing but a disgrace to yourself and all of your family.’

J K Rowling

‘It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all.’

More recently, this now famous author of the Harry Potter series and one of the richest women in the world, was practically penniless when she started out writing.

She was divorced, on welfare and, at times, was severely depressed. She hit ‘rock bottom’ but later said that rock bottom became a solid foundation on which she rebuilt her life.

“Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than I was and began diverting all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.”

‘Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be’

As this famous John Wooden quote implies, failure isn’t terminal, but maintaining the status quo just because you’re reigned in by fear can result in a life which feels terminally boring.

You won’t live longer ….it’ll simply feel longer!

So throw caution to the wind, get out of the chicken coup, spread those wings……and begin to soar like the eagle you know you are.

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.