When I first started photography one of my biggest fears was that people would hate what I did and that they would judge me on it. I was so afraid that I would fail at it, because I wanted it so bad. I felt that if people didn’t like my work that I would have been a failure. And since when is our success determined by the opinions of others? Can’t we be successful simply because we try? Or is success only based on what others views of success is? It’s such a fine line to walk don’t you think?

It’s almost human nature to get discouraged when failure happens. Sometimes we are so paralyzed be the thought of failure that we don’t even try. Well to me that is failure.

We are all bound to fail at something. If we don’t fail we don’t have the ability to learn. We learn from failure not success. All of us will fail. I can honestly say that I know about failure and I know about how failure can crush your spirit, but it doesn’t have to. I’m about to share with you 3 ways you can deal with and overcome failure.

  1. Learn that YOU ARE NOT YOUR FAILURE. You are not a failure! Say it loud “I AM NOT A FAILURE”. You may have failed, but you are not a failure! Often times when we ‘fail’ we feel “I’m not valuable, not good enough.” The failure is not about you, it’s about the situation and experience.
  2. If you failed a client, a friend or a family member ask them “What could I have done better?” If you are going to ask for feedback be prepared to accept it. Often times we ask for feedback and we get defensive. “But the reason I did this was….” I am so guilty of this. When I realized this I immediately went to a friend who I ask for advice and said “I am so sorry that I get defensive when you give me feedback. I will be better.” Allow their feedback to make you better.
  3. After receiving feedback and you are evaluating the changes you need to make, ask yourself “Is the ‘better’ worth it?” For example, my daughters are competitive dancers and to be better dancers they are now at a place that their coaches have told them that they need to commit to more time. So they will have to sacrifice giving up time with friends and some family events to become better dancers. I asked them “Is it worth it to you to become better?” and they both said “yes it’s worth it. “ If the person who you have asked for feedback says “I think you need to spend more time with the client in the proofing process.” What would spending more time with the client would mean to you? Is the change worth it?

If in the end you have changed what needs to be changed and you have done your best, that is all you can do. Become comfortable with knowing that YOU ARE NOT YOUR FAILURE.

Remember that if you are still growing in your personal life, relationships and business you are susceptible to failure. Success comes from failures. Do you want to be successful? So do I. Embrace the possibility of failure. More success = more failures.

Don’t be afraid to fail…be afraid to not try