How to Become Comfortable With Failure

How to Run a Business

Although it sounds contradictory, here's a hard truth about business: If you want your company to succeed, it first has to fail.

So argues author Bedros Keuilian, CEO and founder of the fitness company Fit Body Boot Camp, in an article for "See, the most successful businesses -- the ones that truly stand out -- are built on risk-taking and ambition," Keuilian says. "Embrace failure, and you're free to take the risks that can reward you with higher profits."

But here's the thing: Failure is scary. If you want your business to embrace it, therefore, you'll need to condition the company to be as comfortable with falling down as it is with standing tall. Doing so starts with rewiring your brain, according to Keuilian.

"We fear failure because it's all we've been taught. However … your brain is a super powerful instrument that can overwrite what you've previously learned," he says. "So, how do you rewire your brain to embrace failure? First, become obsessed with the process of learning and improving. Think about it like this: When you focus on the process more than the outcome, you never get overly discouraged about the results, because you understand that failure is your best teacher. You can take pride in outlasting, and therefore out-learning, the rest of your competition."

Another good idea is doing things in your personal life that make you uncomfortable, the idea being: If you get used to failure outside of the business, you'll also become more comfortable with failure inside the business.

"I like to attempt six-week 'challenges' that force me to do something physical that I'm not comfortable with. I can lift weights all day long, but when it comes to running or hiking, I'm like a fish out of water," Keuilian admits. "It's that exact fear that pushed me to run a full marathon, and it's that fear that motivated me to sign up for my friend Jesse Itzler's latest hiking challenge -- nine consecutive climbs to the peak of a Utah mountain in just 30 hours. These challenges rewire your brain not to back down in the face of possible failure. When you learn to embrace failure rather than run away from it, you discover the answers you need to build your empire, and you develop the resolve to overcome anything in your way."

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