With all due respect to the Tony Robbins' of the world, the oft-used motivational phrase, "failure is NOT an option" always makes me cringe. Not only is failure an option, failure is many times the catalyst for our biggest successes. The fear of failure is often cited as the top reason that people give when asked why they didn't open that dream business, approach that beautiful person across the room, or try something exciting like stand-up comedy. But in reality, failure is a great thing! The only failure that you should regret is the failure to try.
I'm a huge aviation nerd, so I consider the Wright Brothers to be among my greatest heroes. When you think of the Wright Brothers, what comes to mind? It's always their greatest success; the first people to conquer the skies with a powered aircraft. However, like all great successes, the Wright Brothers failed...and failed...and failed again before they had that historic flight in 1903. Prior to that (and many times after), they crashed planes, broke bones, bruised egos, and almost went broke. But, with each failure, they learned something new and built upon that knowledge. They learned things from failing that made their success possible. Think about your greatest heroes, living or dead, and ask yourself if they would have been as successful if they let a failure stop them. The problem with failure is that we often think of it as the end of a process, but it's not. Failure is just a part of the process. In most cases, YOU decide when the process is over, whether it be after a failure, or after your goals are met. Instead of saying, "I'm afraid to start this thing, because I might fail", try saying, "I'm going to start this thing, and I'm going to fail a few times on my way to success!" If you take away the fear of failure, you'll find that the act of failing suddenly becomes a lesson that makes you better.
So, if you're thinking of trying something new this year, whether it be opening that new business, doing yoga, or learning a new skill, remember that failure is totally an option! It's up to you whether or not those failures stop you, define you, or simply teach you. Just remember, when it's all said and done and you've reached your goal, nobody will care about the failures you encountered along the way, they'll just applaud your success!
"Those who dare to fair miserably can achieve greatly" -John F Kennedy "Failure is not the opposite of success; it's part of success" -Arianna Huffington