Failure is not a comfortable thing and it can surely attenuate your drive and motivation to keep going. This statement concisely states how these factors relate to one another when trying to achieve personal success. It’s a long road. It’s quite lonely at times and can seem like no one understands why you do what you do. But this is not for them, it’s for you. In this post I’m going to share what I’ve learned about failure, comfort zones, and motivation.
Raise your hand if you enjoy failing? I’ll wait…. No one likes to fail but in my opinion it’s a necessary step in order to achieve your goals. Notice I didn’t attribute the necessity to fail with success? This is because success is relative to the individual. Often times we mistakenly compare ourselves to others in our industry — big mistake. Your struggles, your environment, and your resources are your own. This is what makes personal success a beautiful thing. You only need to meet the standards set by you. When you fail, this is the time to hold yourself accountable but more importantly acknowledge why you failed.
The ticket to reaching your goals is to be comfortable with failure. When we can see our goals, what’s the first thing we possibly ask ourselves? “How do I get there?” or “Who do I need to introduce myself to?” These are questions that lead you towards success.
Below, I have listed common questions to target your goals and determine if you need to raise the bar for yourself:
- When is the last time you were rejected or ignored in an attempt to reach a goal?
- When you are rejected or ignored, do you try again?
- Failing is always a step closer than not trying at all.
- Have your recent achievements or endeavors been easy to obtain?
Basking in the waters of inaction is the most detrimental thing you can do and a quick way to fall short. You want to be able to say that you tried and failed.
Which brings me to my next point…
More often than not, we get comfortable. We’re content with life but we call ourselves ambitious. If you’re reading this, you want to grow and you are ready to change your current state. . I implore you to step outside of that comfort zone. Like make cold calls, email a fortune 500 CEO, or even start a dialogue with a business owner on social media. Possibilities are endless and I’m sure you can think of something that you’ve never done before that may help you.
Here’s an actual example of someone stepping out of their comfort zone:
Brian is a college graduate getting ready to move 600 miles away to start his journey of being a freelance web developer. He knows one person there who will let him stay until he was able to afford living on his own. Brian knew that ultimately, his goal was to start his own business. Once he arrived, this is what he thought about:
- How can I make money here?
- What can I do to possibly start my business now?
- What is the market like for the type of business I want to do?
Brian needed a way to hit the ground running. This is how he did it:
- He started by checking Craigslist every day since he was familiar with it in high school. He figured it was a great temperature gauge for markets in most major cities. If he saw anything that was relevant to web development, he would respond. He did this every day.
- Brian polished up his resume and posted it on all the major job sites such as: Monster, Indeed, and Career Builder.
- He made a list of marketing companies, ad agencies, and local businesses categorized by the aesthetic of their websites. He then proceeded to call them. This is what’s called cold calling – when you call a business unsolicited. He would ask, “Hey, my name is Brian, I’m a local web professional and I was wondering if you were looking to redesign your website.” Responses consisted of: “No we’re not interested.”, “What do you mean, we just had it redesigned?” Click, dial tones and so on.
Eventually, Brian got a hit on the résumé sites from a staffing agency which led him to a full-time job after three months. This was the most uncomfortable thing I’ve ever had to do. That’s right — I am “Brian”. I moved to Atlanta, Georgia after college and worked part-time with IBM. I just knew I couldn’t do that forever. Calling these companies and trying to persuade them to let me redesign their site sounded so insane, but I was desperate. I wanted to be in the industry in which I was interested – software and web development. This required me to step out of my comfort zone. I had a job, but I wanted something more for myself. My story isn’t any better or different from any other person trying to reach their goals. They will all tell you that at some point, they were forced to step outside their comfort zone.
Once you get to where you’re going, how do you stay there? How do you build momentum to maintain your current pace to jump again?
Know this: there is always someone watching every move you make. Someone you are motivating or inspiring. When you’re successful, they experience success too. Being conscious of this, you start to feel yourself perform on new levels. It feels good to inspire people…positivity is infectious.
When you motivate others, you inadvertently motivate yourself because after all, you are on a journey- to reach the level of success that you’ve set for yourself. A level beyond your comfort zones in which you inevitably fail until you get it right or figure out another approach. If you’ve given everything you have and just can’t seem to get there, it may not be for you. And that’s okay. Your character is strengthened when you can accept what is not for you. But as long as you continue forward, seeking new goals to achieve, you will always remain on the path toward success.