Bill Cosby once stated, "In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure." Today, we often hear the same sentiment expressed in these words - "no risk - no reward." It is true that men and women who are most successful at what they do are individuals who are willing to take risks. Not "shots in the dark," but calculated risks. Ones they have investigated and thought through. Finally, they get to a point where they must make a decision. The outcome is not certain, but based on their research and intuition, they believe the risk is worth it. Despite the potential for failure, their desire for success is such that they are willing to take the leap and move ahead.
Sometimes, their decisions pay off in a great way. Sometimes they do not. Sometimes they experience the exhilaration of a magnificent success. Other times they must swallow the bitter pill of failure. The mark of a successful individual is they do not allow failures to impede their forward progress in life. Nor do they allow their successes to lull them into a false sense of security. As Winston Churchill once noted, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
It is that "courage to continue" that appears to be a trait shared by the vast majority of successful individuals. While it is much easier to continue when you are racking up success after success, it is more necessary to continue when you experience failure. How do you respond to failure in your personal and business lives? Does failure paralyze you? Worse - does the fear of failure paralyze you? Or, have you used past failures as motivation for future success?
Frankly - failure is a given. How you respond to failure is a choice.