When you’re new to anything, there are certain fears and concerns that naturally come with the territory. When you’re a young professional, most things are relatively new to you. So, when you’re a young professional who also owns a start-up business, many fears emerge.
We’re trained to steer clear of failure throughout our upbringings. We’re told to strive for A’s and not F’s. If we fail a grade and have to repeat it, it’s seriously frowned upon. If you quit a sport, a job, or a hobby as a kid, that, too, was looked at as failure. So, when we become adults and are struck with the reality that failure is real, likely, and isn’t always a bad thing, suddenly our methodolgies collide.
They say, ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ and this speaks to the power of habit. The older we get, the more set in our ways we remain. This only adds to my point that the older we get, the harder it is to trend away from the lessons of our childhood to ‘not fail’ and find whatever means are necessary to ‘succeed’. What some of us realize is that ‘to succeed’ in the professional world by maintaing a paying job in-and-of-itself doesn’t always equate to satisfaction. If one chooses to move from that path of perceived success to the world of the entrepreneur, where ‘failure’ becomes a much more likely possibility, it’s challenging to believe in yourself, face the fear, and more so, to overcome the hesitations and questions of your support system who generally were also raised to fear ‘failure’.
In my 20s, as a business owner who’s experienced overwhelming highs and debilitating lows in my business, it oftentimes feels that much more challenging to have strayed from the path of ‘success’ and the path that is more frequently tred by both my peers and my elders. To find the strength to belive in yourself enough to continue to forge your own way, even in the face of nay-sayers and your own doubts, can sometimes feel isolating and terrifying. But, I’ve also learned from this that the more you push yourself outside of your comfort zone, the more you grow. And, the more you follow your intuition, the less regret you’ll have for listening to your instincts, whether or not you ‘fail’. I hope that us ‘younger dogs’ can learn that lesson sooner rather than later: that failure is okay, and we shouldn’t run from it. Success is really only one step after failure. Most of us just aren’t brave enough to get there.