Are You Willing To Fail?

Posted by Bernie Reifkind on May 24, 2012

CANNES, France — “I’m not interested in being safe, and I’m willing to fail because of that,” Nicole Kidman declares, not a shred of doubt in her voice. “I feel very ashamed when I do something safe.”

As I read this quote from famed actress Nicole Kidman I wondered how many of us feel the same way about our careers, whether or not we are employers or employees.  How many people can actually claim that they “feel ashamed” when they do something safe?

One can gather from Ms. Kidman’s position is that we must be willing to fail to achieve success (which is of course subjective to all of us).   It would be easy to cast off Ms. Kidman’s position as just another rich and famous movie star without a clue to the struggles of the rest of us. 

But maybe that is an unfair assessment and a “cop out” for not  attempting to achieve the success that we desire.  Are you playing it too safe?  

Do you want something so badly that you are willing to fail no matter what? 

Failure is subjective to each of us.  Maybe failure is as simple as just not getting your way?

Perhaps we can consider rational risk taking and accepting rational failure in our approach to what we would like to achieve.

Here are 5 things that perhaps we can risk and accept possible failure to achieve what we desire:

1.  Ask for what you truly want.  What legitimate risk do you take when you communicate your need?  When you ask for what you need.  Maybe you will hear “no”, but you’ll never hear YES unless you ask.  Is hearing NO a failure?  Maybe hearing “no” just means that we have to strengthen our resolve to one day hear YES.  But why not ask?

2.  Believe that you are deserving of what you want.  The mind is a powerful tool but sometimes we allow our minds to talk us out of what we want or need.  Maybe we can use our mind to talk us into what we need or want?

3.  Write down the worst that could happen- what you are willing to risk.  Seeing it in writing is very powerful and sometimes can help us to realize how much rational risk we are willing to take.  Will the world crumble if we take a step towards what we want?

4.  Be very careful about taking negative advice from others.  No one walks in your shoes and no one knows what is in your heart.  Others, though well meaning may not know the magnitude of what you desire.  Advice is important when making a decision, but every one has different advice.  Advice is information that you have the choice to follow.

5.  Do at least one thing every day towards achieving your goal.  This can be as easy as reading an article, making a phone call, practice.  Doing one small thing every day can sometimes lead to the very outcome that you desire.  A good practice is to keep a daily journal and write down the one thing that you did that day to move you closer to your goal.

5.5  Feel your success as if it has already happened.  Use your imagination and allow yourself to pretend that you have achieved your outcome.  Dress the part.  Be the outcome that you desire.  Act as if you have already achieved it.  By doing so, you put yourself in a creative mind frame and you never know…….. you just might receive a little help from the universe.

I am Bernie Reifkind, CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc.  I can be reached at 1(800) 801-1400 or email at  I welcome your phone call.

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