THE BLOG

Taking Failure Off the Table -- Really!

Nov 27, 2010 | Updated May 25, 2011

My father helped me get a summer job on a movie my first year in college. I was excited to be working on a major motion picture and a little nervous. I wanted to be a success, not a failure! My Dad gave me some great advice. He said, "No matter what anyone asks you to do, just say yes, even if you don't know how to do something, say yes. Then go and learn what you need to learn to finish the job". I took this advice to heart.

On that movie set I learned what it meant to be solution-driven. I learned how to be creative and resourceful by focusing on solutions. On movie sets, there is only yes for an answer, it is all about finding a solution. Failure isn't even an option! Now, if I find myself presented with a challenging situation, I don't get discouraged or feel defeated. As long as I'm working toward my dream, I'm OK.

Most successful people know on some level that they're going to achieve their dreams. No matter how out of reach their dreams might seem, they take steps each day to move forward. If things don't go exactly as planned they still keep moving forward. Adapting this mindset will allow you to succeed in big ways. Failure is never the option; the only option is finding a workable solution.

That is what Allison Maslan, CEO of Blastoff Life and Business Coaching, did when she had an idea for coaching software: Blastation Interactive Goal Setting and Life Coaching Software. Allison wanted to create an online software experience for her clients. Rather than buy someone else's software, she developed her own. Although she didn't know the first thing about software development, she didn't let that stop her. Allison takes failure off the table. It is never one of her options, period.

Allison developed Blastation when she was unable to find adequate goal setting software to use with her coaching clients. "It's a lively software that helps keep you organized, optimistic and inspired so you can stay on track to make your dream life a reality".

This unique web-based software can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection. "Blastation will help you to clarify and attain your large and small life dreams and visions in an exciting and stimulating way". The software enables users to break their goals down into easy-to-follow incremental steps, called 'Mini Feats', that allow bigger projects to be more easily achieved.

These steps are then posted on your personalized online Blastation Calendar to keep your personal and professional life organized. Allison thought of everything: Blastation can even send e-mails and host your online address book.

"If you are creating something new and you have a fear of failure, you can take a different approach. Whatever happens, whatever wall I hit, I just have to figure out a solution and then I can never fail, I just find a solution". Allison's right, when you shift your focus to finding a solution, you rewire your brain.

According to David Rock in his book Your Brain at Work, "unmet expectations often create a threat response" and the "brain is built to avoid threat, people tend to work hard to reinterpret events to meet their expectations". In other words, if we tell our brain something, it listens.

Look for solutions and adjust your expectations. David Rock recommends the following: "stay in a positive state of mind, find ways to keep coming out ahead of your expectations over and again, even in small ways". And maybe most importantly, "when a positive expectation is not being met, practice reappraising the situation".

Direct your brain's energy into finding solutions. Focus on learning new tools to support your goals. Explore new ideas and new ways of doing things. Allison's solution was simple: she reached out to an expert software designer.

Allison had an idea. She didn't know how to develop software, but she knew what she wanted and focused on that. She found a solution and her dream materialized in a big way: her software is used internationally! First say "yes" to yourself and your dreams, then take the necessary steps to achieve them. Allison's motto is, "keep your head pointing towards your dream, walk towards it daily and don't let anyone tell you it can't be done"!

With this kind of solution-driven attitude anything is possible.