In 2011, a friend of mine was attending a success seminar in London and invited me along. One of the key points I took away was the importance of taking action. Now it may seem like an obvious point but one of the reasons people don’t achieve their goals and dreams is that they never start.
In so many areas of our lives it can feel like we need to have the know-how or all of the information there is out there before we even begin. Whether it’s a career change, learning a new skill or doing anything that we have never done before. What can make this even more daunting is that there is more information available to us than at any other time in history. If you want to learn an instrument you no longer only have the limited choice of finding a local teacher through the yellow pages. Now we have youtube videos, online tutorials, DVDs, books from amazon and more. Faced with all this information many people simply don’t begin.
I believe there is an underlying reason for this – the fear of failure. This makes logical sense at first glance. The more we know about a new subject, the less likely we are to fail. Well, there is some good news and some bad news
The bad news
I’ll start with the bad news. You are going to have to fail, mess up and make mistakes. It’s part of the process and it’s not a reflection on you. It simply happens as you start to learn a new skill. You make mistakes and that’s when you get better. There is a great quote by Thomas J Watson:
“If you want to succeed, double your failure rate”
I remember the first time I heard that, it changed the way I looked at failure.
The good news
Most people don’t take action or stop early because they either make a mistake or they are so scared to fail or make a mistake they don’t even start. By embracing failure and taking action, you’re already ahead of most of the other people out there and this is your edge. I’ve met many talented individuals who could be so much more if only they started taking action. Once you start, you build momentum and before you know it you’ve achieved more than you could have imagined. So next time you’re going to put something off or think you need to know everything about it first, just take the first step.