In the movie Crimson Tide, Gene Hackman, who plays the captain of a nuclear submarine, is intentionally running a ship drill exercise right after a fire breaks out in the galley. When his next-in-command Executive Officer (played by Denzel Washington) challenges him on it, he says, “Confusion on the ship is nothing to fear.” He’s essentially saying that, in the face of sheer chaos, you should be able to hold steady and focus on the job you’re trying to do, and not allow anything to shake that focus.
The same is true in business. We tend to harbor the irrational belief that every little mistake, every little pissed off customer, every bit of bad press will shut us down. And that’s not to say that it won’t hurt us.
However if you believe you are truly destined to succeed, there’s virtually nothing that can stop you. So if you can view screw ups and confusing situations as learning opportunities, as opposed to stress-inducing harbingers of doom, you will do two things for yourself.
Number one, you will feel much less stress on a day-to-day basis.
And number two, your overall outlook will change. You will appreciate small failures as opportunities to grow and build the business.
The big secret to this is getting over your ego and your expectation that you have all the answers to get it right the first time. When you can put that notion behind you and appreciate that a successful business is built by learning what is and what isn’t going to make it successful, you will enjoy the ride a hell of a lot more.
Plus, your doctor will be much more complimentary about your blood pressure.