It's something everyone of us experiences. It's often unexpected and can sometimes be devastating.
It's failure, and it's a universal part of the human condition.
While each of us has failed at something in our lives, it's safe to say that entrepreneurs, given the nature of entrepreneurial endeavors and the associated high risk, experience failure more frequently than the average individual.
Despite the provocative headline, there will be no swearing in this article, even though failure frequently evokes a "WTF" expletive.
Here are three facts about failure to consider. While each is a different "F word," you can still say them in front of your mother without threats of getting your mouth washed out with soap.
1. Failure is not Final.
All too often we succumb to failure, and we allow failure to overwhelm us.
"It's over" or "why bother trying again" are the frequent immediate refrains following the heels of a colossal collapse.
It doesn't have to be that way. Of course it's difficult to bounce back from failure. It takes grit, tenacity and a clear vision that sees beyond the current circumstances to keep moving forward.
Don't internalize the failure, don't empower the negative aspects of the loss to muddy your clarity of purpose.
The fact is that failure does not define you unless you quit and allow it to define you.
2. Failure is not Fatal.
We need to keep failure in perspective.
Only in very rare, life-and-death-type rescue situations does failure equal the actual loss of life. However, we're much more likely to allow failure to fatally impact our creativity, will, spirit, vision, drive, desire, passion or dreams.
Don't let it.
While failure might not be a choice, the fact is that we absolutely have the power to choose not to allow failure to kill any aspect of our being.
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3. Failure is not Forever.
While hard to believe when surrounded by failure's smoking wreckage, failure doesn't last or endure unless you consciously choose to keep resurrecting the loss.
The oft-cited example is of Thomas Edison who supposedly tried 9,999 different ways to develop a light bulb all of which failed---until his very next try. I don't think it matters if he failed 10 times or 10,000 -- the takeaway is that he did not let any single failure linger or last. He moved on.
The fact is we need to learn from failure, not languish in it.
While failure is indeed a universal phenomena, it doesn't have to be Final, Fatal or Forever -- and that's an F-ing fact.