Failure is an Option

How often have you heard the saying “Failure is not an option”?  It was originated by Gene Kranz and the title of his book (it was a creed from NASA Mission Control) and spoken in the film Apollo 13.

Now used in that context it’s great – not wanting to kill your astronauts, failure is not a good option.  But it’s a saying that can hold you back from trying something until you feel 100% confident.  Yet how often in life do you ever feel 100% confident when you’re doing something new or different?   For me, it never happens.  I never feel 100% confident about anything that I’ve not done thousands of times already.

If you want to achieve anything in life, from learning to walk (I’m assuming you were like every other baby in the world, who fell over heaps of times before you mastered walking), to becoming an expert in colour and style, there is a lot of practice that has to happen, and you can’t wait until you are perfectly comfortable.  If I’d waited I wouldn’t be here today!

I still remember my first paying colour analysis clients and really hoping that I gave them their best palette of colours (pretty sure I did but I can’t be sure).  I didn’t feel totally confident but I knew that I just had to get out there, take action and do it or I’d never build a business.

Rather than not trying something for fear of failure, reframe what failure is to you and see it as an opportunity to learn something and keep on growing.

It's only failure if you learn nothing

It’s only failure if you learn nothing.

Just like every other entrepreneur and business owner, I’ve failed heaps of times.  In fact, I remember giving my practice client (when I did my training back in early 2004) some really bad advice because it was what I thought she wanted to hear (like I could read her mind?).   It was a great learning experience for me as I realised afterward that I was doing her no favours by giving her the advice that I did.  Instead, I took that lesson and made sure that I learned how to give my clients the best advice in a way that would assist them as I was looking at the big picture and their future.   I learned how to say “no that’s not good for you” in a way that wasn’t going to destroy their self-esteem.

Failure is a great option!

If you’re failing it means you’re taking action.

Actions move you forwards towards your goals.

So every time you stop yourself (or even think about stopping yourself) from taking a bit of a leap (or even a tiny step) to move your business forward, if something doesn’t work out as you’d really hoped, you can use this information as an opportunity to grow, to pivot slightly, change tack and improve.

One of the things that makes me feel sad, is how many people who could make excellent image consultants stop themselves from actually doing anything because of their fear of failure (it’s easier to never publish your website or market your business).  If you’re procrastinating it’s most likely because you’re scared about failing (read about how to stop procrastinating and get over this fear here).  But are you scared of learning?  If you’re not scared of learning something new, then you can get over that fear of failing as failure is just another word for learning!

Failure is a GREAT option!  Because you’re learning something important that will make you better.

Failure is just feedback.  It’s giving you new information that will help you grow into an even more amazing image professional.

Now go out there and fail.



© 2022 Academy of Professional Image

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