How Many Opportunities Do You Lose Because You Focus On Past Failures?

“Boo hoo, I failed. It didn’t work out. Woe is me and I’m done.”

During a recent radio interview  on my show One Click Society at PWRN, John A. Walsh, the Executive Editor and Executive Vice President at ESPN, shared a powerful thought when asked the key to success,  reminding me how BORING failure when he told a short story and ended it with saying , “If you’re going to keep playing the martyr, you have to ask yourself eventually if it’s time to get off the cross and give someone else the wood – someone who might actually be able to use it.”

Stop Seeing Your Failures As Failures

John was adamant as a culture we need to stop focusing on failures and shift to more powerful thinking with thoughts such as, “You know what? I tried something. I gave it my best spiritually, intellectually and creatively but it didn’t work out this time.”

He’s right. There’s always a bit of success in failure. The trick is to figure out what it was and then build on it and learn from it.

Embrace Your Fears To Live In A State Of Fearlessness

John shared some great advice by saying the best piece of success to take from failure is found when you ask yourself a simple question:

Did the failure act as a catalyst for fearlessness?

Because once you have that fearlessness as a part of your soul, it’s an amazing thing to take with you.

When he went to ESPN, John says he knew sports and he knew news, but he didn’t know TV. But he, as John puts it, had the experience from failing a few times and not dying from it and was okay with accepting failure as a part of his growth.  By leveraging this “fearlessness” and combining it with an insatiable will to learn, John was propelled to the very top quickly and has enjoyed making it happen over a 22-year career span at ESPN.

He has overseen the launch of ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Radio; was instrumental in developing the many news and information elements within ESPN, including networks and new shows; and has led the editorial direction of ESPN.com and its properties.  Currently he also serves as chairman of ESPN’s editorial board, has grown Sportscenter into the powerhouse it is today, created the ESPY’s.

Let’s face it, coming from being the editor of the rolling stones, to blowing up ESPN (in a good way), well let’s just say John A. Walsh has been there and done that.

What a powerful lesson.

If you’re going to go down a path in entrepreneurship, remember that even the experts had to start somewhere.  Everyone gets scared, or experiences fear.

The key is to realize the fear means you are trying something where you don’t have all the answers.  You’re actually swimming into unknown territory.And while I can’t guarantee you all fear will lead to success, I can promise you, from experience, you can’t move forward laying in the fetal position.

Embrace your fear – be excited it’s there – live fearlessly as you keep the faith and let the universe illuminate each step for you.  All you have to do is move through each door that opens.  (No one ever said you won’t get scared or be afraid, just don’t let it stop you.)

The difference between the experts and everyone else is how quickly they can learn from failure.  It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how fast you get up!

Who do you know who has failed in a big way and is now killing it in a good way in their business or life?