Reflection 5: The biggest mistake: Not making any.

Throughout this course, and this book, I have read and heard about conflicting opinions as to what an entrepreneur even is. Are they leaders? Innovators? Inventors? My conclusion; entrepreneurs are actually people who have no idea what they are doing, but they have a plan to do it. These three chapters dive into the meaningfulness of having fears and learning from failures, and just what that can do to push you further towards your goals.

A quote that I very clearly remember from my childhood is my father saying “You see that, it’s fear *as he shakes his hand nervously* *then stops shaking hand* “now that, that’s controlled fear.” I can distinctively remember how hard I would roll my eyes every time he said this. However, it is a pretty true statement when you apply it to being a leader, entrepreneur, or just someone who has no clue as to what they are doing. We all have fear, experience doesn’t ever completely eliminate that. Fear is natural, especially when you are faced with a challenging situation. In my opinion, what separates the pack is how you handle that the fear, how you control it.

Cus D’Amato, a legendary boxing trainer, once said, “Heroes and cowards feel exactly the same fear. Heroes just react to fear differently.” Robert Kriegel in these chapters talks about fear being a wall that limits your view and creates boundaries to your growth and creativity. I think this is a great example, because it paints the picture of having to explore to become a “hero.” With the wall being there, it is so easy for most to just walk right by opportunities for growth, because why not, you can’t even see that they are there with the wall in the way. To be a leader (hero) you have to consistently show that you are jumping over walls in search of the next opportunity to improve yourself. Kriegel follows up with the statement, “Experience will show that when you look at fear directly, a way over the wall will become obvious. By confronting your fears, the wall will never be quite as big or intimidating again.” Fears tell lies and puts up blinders, let’s all try looking beyond them.

Too often in my current profession I see fears prevent people from even taking a chance. The fear of looking stupid, the fear of making a mistake, the fear of complete failure. Something that I have always done is let my failures live with me. I’ve never really known how to explain this, until I read chapter 14. Kriegel explains “keeping a scrapbook of your failures” which allows you to remember how you failed in each situation. Keeping these memories allows you to avoid repeating mistakes. Failure, if you let it, will bread success. The scary part, there’s no way to know how long it will take.

When starting out on a journey, or just trying to improve yourself along the way, understanding not only that failing is important, but that it is inevitable, can be a necessary moment. Failure can be a good place to start and it can also be a great landing spot at times; it doesn’t have to mean starting over, but just redirecting the line of sight.

Failure is success in the making. So control that fear!

-Colin Lane Croat

2 thoughts on “Reflection 5: The biggest mistake: Not making any.

  1. This post reminds me of Laurie Santos’ podcast in the Happiness Lab called “Don’t Think of the White Bear” in that we can either let our unwanted thoughts, or in this case fears, control and impede us or use them to better prepare and go after what we want. I appreciate the perspective!


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